Friday, February 17, 2012

Relax, two-factor encryption is still secure…

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to authenticate every major web site on the internet. While the NYT wants you to panic , in all likelihood, your banking data remains secure. Considerable research and number crunching by folks at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, should set your mind at ease.

Websites and networked computers use public-key cryptography for authentication; the means by which a server validates to a client that it really is the server that the client intended to connect to. An attacker who knows the private key to one of these systems would be able to impersonate the real system to a client or in many cases decrypt encrypted traffic between the client and server.
The most widely used cryptographic system for this purpose is RSA, based on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. Here's how the system works in the real world…


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