Security team successfully cracks SSL using 200 PS3's and MD5

Matthew Kaufman matthew at
Mon Jan 5 21:39:08 UTC 2009

Randy Bush wrote:
> perhaps i am a bit slow.  but could someone explain to me how trust in 
> dns data transfers to trust in an http partner and other uses to which 
> ssl is put?
> randy

It wouldn't, which is why the original suggestion is a bad idea.

They're different issues (finding the actual address of the server you 
want to talk to vs. authenticating that the server is the server you 
want to talk to), and the trust doesn't transfer for multiple reasons.

Mostly it isn't a good idea because there's a big "too many eggs in one 
basket" problem here... compromise of the DNS root keys not only would 
cause address lookups to be as insecure as they are now (which still 
works much of the time for many people), but inserting fake self-signed 
certs becomes trivial.

This is nearly as bad as the argument I've seen that if we had DNSSEC we 
wouldn't even need SSL's authentication, because you'd be sure you were 
talking to the right server (never mind that there's demonstrated 
examples of just how easy it is to reroute someone else's packets from 
far away). Of course we could secure the entire routing system as well...

Matthew Kaufman

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