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[aprssig] Universal APRS messaging

Gregory A. Carter gcarter at openaprs.net
Thu Oct 23 22:57:17 UTC 2008


I still maintain that it would be wise to create an OpenID style system.  Of
course it would take quite a while before the various pieces of software
eventually got up to date to use the new auth system for APRS-IS (and some
software may never), however the longer the implementation is delayed, the
longer it will take to impliment (how's that for a brain teaser).

It's easy to fire off emails to the list and complain about how APRS-IS's
hash algirythm is weak or how this web service or that web service is
secure/insecure but it is all counter productive without action.  As I've
stated several times, I'm willing to open up our verification system for use
with an OpenID project, but I won't bother if no one is willing to use it.
It wouldn't be too difficult to create some sort of user replication system
for redundancy and allow all of the APRS-IS servers the ability to verify
incoming connection auth pairs.

Claiming that anyone can use RF and spoof a message is a poor excuse to not
be diligent about securing APRS-IS from abuse.  Head-in-the-sand approaches
always backfire in the end, the Internet is full of bored teenagers and
dranged adults just waiting to annoy someone.

Greg

NV6G
OpenAPRS.Net

On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Tyler Allison <tyler at allisonhouse.com>wrote:

>
> >> There should be a secure way of checking who places the message and the
> >>  content of the message...
> >
> > It is not possible without a complete revamping of the APRS Internet
> > System. This would be the best possible outcome. It would be difficult
> > and painful, like the APRS QSY was, but the end result would also be as
> > worthwhile.
>
> Not just the APRS-IS. All of APRS. APRS was never designed to authenticate
> the owner.  You can secure the APRS-IS all you want and I can still send a
> "nasty" APRS message to somebody in NZ using my APRS enabled radio using
> someone elses callsign, unless you stop traffic in the RF to internet
> direction..which effectively breaks the value of the APRS-IS.
>
> >> As an Igate sysop if the Universal APRS messaging gets out of control
> >> and is abused then the easiest  way would be to exclude messaging from
> >> the Igate  every Igate Sysop is in control of his / her own station.
> >
> > Absolutely, that is where the responsibility rightfully, and (at least in
> > the US) legally belongs. I turned off the internet to RF direction of my
> > IGate on the day many years ago when the APRS Internet System became
> > insecure. The thing I fear I have still not adequately conveyed is there
> > is NO new insecurity in the APRS IS. From the day aprsd published the
> > source code to do APRS IS validation, ANYONE could send ANYTHING on the
> > APRS IS completely without detection or traceability.
>
> Let's be pure in our argument please. There never was real security in the
> authentication system with or without the publishing of the aprsd source
> code.  It would take a reasonably smart developer about an hour to reverse
> the algorithm used for 'authentication' by doing simple crypto analysis.
> If you want an actual time, I'll ask one of the guys at my work to do it
> blind and I'll time him. I got beer money he can do it under an hour.
>
> I'm not trying to thrown stones or claim this was some huge oversight. It
> is what it is. The choice before us is a mater of "reasonable" security. I
> personally think even _after_ the publication of the algorithm it is still
> "reasonable" security.  It is sufficiently difficult to stop the average
> man on the street. The point is...you will _NEVER_ make APRS, or a future
> derivative, secure enough to claim within impunity you know who originated
> the session. Propose an idea you think can do it and I'll poke wholes in
> it all day long. Stop trying to make it perfect and find a "reasonable"
> solution.
>
> -Tyler
>
>
>
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