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Security by conspicuousness

eliminate all obscurity from security practice
  (+1, -4)
(+1, -4)
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The computer security design imperative behind modern encryption is the diminution of the role of obscurity. This applies principally to the algorithm of encryption. However, even vanguards of this approach rely crucially on obscurity in the form of requiring the user to hide the encryption passphrase, prevention of physical access or line of sight, prevention of power or analysis or acoustic inference. This means even encryption that is so strong it would take all the computers on earth today the entire history of the universe to crack, can still be defeated, and usually incredibly easily.

The answer to this is elegant:

Actually follow the security design imperative by banning all obscurity. Of course, this would mean no secret keys since pass phrases would be published. Your computer would have no password, and you would allow anyone to use it. You would also freely type your private messages in plain, unambiguous language on any public computer you wanted. The more the merrier. No more passwords to remember. No more updates. Perfect security.

No one can really know what you mean by anything you are saying, and furthermore, no one could even be sure who was writing from your email address (or anyone's for that matter) since you expresely have no security or password.

fishboner, Apr 28 2014

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       Plausible deniability works until someone puts a gun to your head. You might be better off with private channels of communication, steganography, and/or strong encryption.
Spacecoyote, Apr 28 2014

       This rant ignores the reason "security by obscurity" is a Bad Thing and the meaning of the phrase when used by people who understand information security. [-]
Voice, Apr 28 2014

       Then how will online banking work?
DIYMatt, Apr 29 2014

       The security rule is "Kerckhoffs' principle": A cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge.
"Security through obscurity" is just a perjorative term for systems which don't follow it.
Clearly, your derivation is incorrect.

       However, I certainly can imagine that there is a place for systems where effectively everything is publicly editable. In the online domain this effectively makes all users anonymous.
Loris, Apr 29 2014

       /Then how will online banking work?/   

       No need. Property will be held in common. 8th, this setup works well for the Borg, no?
bungston, Apr 30 2014

       What you need is a bait security system that leads the attacker into a honeypot, and a much more obscure /nonstandard one that is the real front door.
RayfordSteele, Apr 30 2014

       This will not give people security it will give people plausible deniability. A feature most desirable to criminals.
bob, May 03 2014

       This gets me thinking about how if heaven or hell exist there are probably no passwords in either.
lepton, May 07 2014

       With this title, the idea should be as follows:   

       A particular server has a display (possibly of the type favored by bad 80s hacking movies) that shows where all data in the system is stored, and when someone is accessing it. This display would be echoed (in small) everywhere that someone with legitimate access to the system was.   

       What the actual data is, and what manipulation is being done to it is not apparent, but when it is being accessed and who (in terms of an anonymous but persistent user ID) is. Therefore, an unusual user access would be very conspicuous.
MechE, May 07 2014


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