Beyond Passport Vulnerabilities
Source: SIMSON GARFINKEL - Posted by Joe Shakespeare   
Security Little more than a year ago, a company that I'm involved with found a serious flaw with Microsoft Passport.

Microsoft Passport, for anyone not in the know, is Microsoft's highly promoted identity management and single sign-on system. Instead of having one password for the Microsoft Developer Network, another password for Hotmail and another password for Microsoft Messenger, all of these services are tied together with a single common database. Log in to one system, and you've logged in to them all. In theory, this makes the overall process easier for users, since there is only one ID and password to remember, and more secure, since it is easier to debug and audit one system as opposed to many.

Microsoft has adopted Passport internally for most of its products that need to identify users—things such as Windows Media Player. Microsoft has also encouraged other companies to adopt Passport as their back-end authentication system. The biggest company that has jumped onboard so far is eBay, which allows you to sign in using either an eBay ID or a Passport ID.

The problem that the company discovered had to do with the way the Windows XP Registration Wizard used Microsoft Passport to register new copies of Windows when they were first loaded. Instead of communicating with the Passport servers over an encrypted SSL channel, as Microsoft claimed, much of the information was being sent without encryption.

Read this full article at SIMSON GARFINKEL

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