LinuxSecurity.com
Share your story
The central voice for Linux and Open Source security news
Home News Topics Advisories HOWTOs Features Newsletters About Register

Welcome!
Sign up!
EnGarde Community
Login
Polls
What is the most important Linux security technology?
 
Advisories
Community
Linux Events
Linux User Groups
Link to Us
Security Center
Book Reviews
Security Dictionary
Security Tips
SELinux
White Papers
Featured Blogs
All About Linux
DanWalsh LiveJournal
Securitydistro
Latest Newsletters
Linux Advisory Watch: August 15th, 2014
Linux Advisory Watch: August 8th, 2014
Subscribe
LinuxSecurity Newsletters
E-mail:
Choose Lists:
About our Newsletters
RSS Feeds
Get the LinuxSecurity news you want faster with RSS
Powered By

  
Hide Sensitive Information

8.8. Hide Sensitive Information

Sensitive information should be hidden from prying eyes, both while being input and output, and when stored in the system. Sensitive information certainly includes credit card numbers, account balances, and home addresses, and in many applications also includes names, email addressees, and other private information.

Web-based applications should encrypt all communication with a user that includes sensitive information; the usual way is to use the "https:" protocol (HTTP on top of SSL or TLS). According to the HTTP 1.1 specification (IETF RFC 2616 section 15.1.3), authors of services which use the HTTP protocol should not use GET based forms for the submission of sensitive data, because this will cause this data to be encoded in the Request-URI. Many existing servers, proxies, and user agents will log the request URI in some place where it might be visible to third parties. Instead, use POST-based submissions, which are intended for this purpose.

Databases of such sensitive data should also be encrypted on any storage device (such as files on a disk). Such encryption doesn't protect against an attacker breaking the secure application, of course, since obviously the application has to have a way to access the encrypted data too. However, it does provide some defense against attackers who manage to get backup disks of the data but not of the keys used to decrypt them. It also provides some defense if an attacker doesn't manage to break into an application, but does manage to partially break into a related system just enough to view the stored data - again, they now have to break the encryption algorithm to get the data. There are many circumstances where data can be transferred unintentionally (e.g., core files), which this also prevents. It's worth noting, however, that this is not as strong a defense as you'd think, because often the server itself can be subverted or broken.

    
Partner

 

Latest Features
Peter Smith Releases Linux Network Security Online
Securing a Linux Web Server
Password guessing with Medusa 2.0
Password guessing as an attack vector
Squid and Digest Authentication
Squid and Basic Authentication
Demystifying the Chinese Hacking Industry: Earning 6 Million a Night
Free Online security course (LearnSIA) - A Call for Help
What You Need to Know About Linux Rootkits
Review: A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux - Fifth Edition
Yesterday's Edition
Attackers Can ‘Steal’ Bandwidth From BitTorrent Seeders, Research Finds
Linux Kernel Development Gets Two-Factor Authentication
Hacking cars and traffic lights at Def Con
Partner Sponsor

Community | HOWTOs | Blogs | Features | Book Reviews | Networking
 Security Projects |  Latest News |  Newsletters |  SELinux |  Privacy |  Home
 Hardening |   About Us |   Advertise |   Legal Notice |   RSS |   Guardian Digital
(c)Copyright 2014 Guardian Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.