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Why Your Next Phone Will Include Biometric Security

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the it'll-draw-blood-and-give-you-an-EKG dept.

Cellphones 110

An anonymous reader sends this quote from Forbes: "... it is an almost certainty that within the next few years, three biometric options will become standard features in every new phone: a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, facial recognition powered by high-definition cameras, and voice recognition based off a large collection of your vocal samples. ... We store an enormous amount of our most intimate and personal information on cell phones. Businesses today are already struggling with policies regarding bringing devices from home, and it’s only going to get more difficult. A study by Symantec highlighted the depth of the problem – around the world, all different types of companies consider enterprise mobile device security to be one of their largest challenges. ... Ever since Apple purchased Authentec Inc in July of last year, there has been an endless stream of news stories obsessing over whether Apple will include a fingerprint scanner in their next release. In reality, Apple is one among many players, and whether they include a biometric sensor in the 5S or wait till the 6 is largely irrelevant, the entire mobile industry has been headed this way for years now. ... There are separate questions as to whether these technologies are ready for such a wide-scale deployment."

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one word (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317811)


A host file is all the security I need (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317813)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

* POOR SHOWING TROLLS, & most especially IF that's the "best you've got" - apparently, it is... lol!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.


apk on 4chan []




That was amazing. - []


My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - []


Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - []


put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - []


Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now... - []


[apk]'s done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone [else] ever could. - []


this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - []


this is hilarious. - []


I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - []


Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - []


a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - []


a very clever parody of APK - []


Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - []


Obviously, it must be Alexander Peter Kowalski. He's miffed at all these imposters... - []


Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - []


I think it's the Internet, about to become sentient. - []


KUDOS valiant AC. - []


Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - []


You made my day, thanks! - []


Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - []


truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - []


It's APK himself trying to maintain the illusion that he's still relevant. - []


Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - []


APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - []


Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - []


Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - []


That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - []


that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - []


What? - []


It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - []


[to apk] er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - []


it's apk, theres no reason to care. - []


Seems more like an apk parody. - []


That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - []


Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - []


I can has summary? - []


Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - []


We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - []


Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - []


Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - []


In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [] . Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - []


You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - []


"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - [] []


I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - []


Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - []


Best. Troll. Ever. - []


I like monkeys. - []


This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - []


I admire this guy's persistence. - []


It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - []


APK is a prominent supporter of Monsanto. - []


Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [] , where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - []


I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - []


^ Champion Mod parent up. - []


I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - []


The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - []


AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - []


If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - []


">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - [] []


No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK [mailto] 's tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - []


Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - []


Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - []




I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - []


Can I be in your quote list? - []


Clearly you are not an Intertubes engineer, otherwise the parent post would be more meaningful to you. Why don't YOU take your meds? - []


+2 for style! The bolding, italicizing, and font changes are all spot-on - []


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


APK is not really a schizophrenic fired former Windows administrator with multiple personality disorder and TimeCube/Art Bell refugee. He's a fictional character like and put forward by the same person as Goatse Guy, GNAA trolls, Dr. Bob and so forth. His purpose is to test the /. CAPTCA algorithm, which is a useful purpose. If you're perturbed by having to scroll past his screeds just set your minimum point level to 1, as his posts are pretty automatically downmodded right away. - []


I just saw APK a couple days ago. He surfaced, blew once, and submerged... - []


oh man, that incredible interminable list of responses is almost as funny as the original post. This is getting to be truly epic. - []


"Does anyone know of an Adblock rule for this?" -> "No, but I bet there's a hosts file entry for it..." - [] []


"Can a hosts file block apk's posts, though?" -> "The universe couldn't handle that much irony." - [] []


"That's it, I've had enough. ... Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit." - []
--> "So basically what you're saying is that you've added yourself to the HOST file?" - []


Sweet baby Moses, this is beautiful work - I wish we could get trolls as good as this on TF. :) - []


you have a point - []


I do admire that level of dedication. - []


[to apk] shut up you stupid cock. Everyone knows you're wrong. - []


I will hand it to him, he is definitely consistent. I wish I knew how he did this. That thing is scary huge. - []


I admire the amount of dedication you've shown - []


Word is, ESR buttfucks CmdrTaco with his revolver. - []


Hey APK, Protip: It's not the truth or value (or lack of) in your post that gets it modded into oblivion, it's the fucking insane length. In addition to TL;DR (which goes without saying for a post of such length), how about irritating readers by requiring them to scroll through 20+ screenfuls just to get to the next post. If you want to publish a short story like this, please do everyone a favor and blog it somewhere, then provide a brief summary and link to your blog. Readers intrigued by your summary will go read your blog, and everyone else will just move along at normal /. speed. - []


I like how this post seems to just sum up every Slashdot comment ever without actually saying anything. - []


extremely bright - []


You provide many references, which is good. - []


Obviously very passionate - []


Thanks ... You should probably stay - []


Art? -- []


PROOF apk sucks donkey dick. - []


I've been around /. for a while now, but this post is by far the most unique I've seen. Many have tried, but few achieve the greatness of this AC. My hat's off to you. - []


I think it's hilarious. Get over it! - []


Obviously APK filled his hosts files with backdoors before distributing them to ensure he doesn't block himself. - []


Alexander Peter Kowalski is an obnoxious prick. - []


Don't mention that file. Ever. It'll draw APK like a fly to rotting meat. Last thing I want to read is 80 responses worth of his stupid spam about that file! I swear that cocksucker does nothing but search Slashdot for that term and then spams the entire article. - []


[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. - []


You are my favorite Slashdot poster. - []


Most insightful post on the Internet - []


I read the whole thing *again* just to see if my comment was in there - []


[to apk] So, did your mom do a lot of drugs when she was pregnant? - []


people are looking at me funny because I'm laughing hysterically at what a perfect APK imitation it is. - []


Slashdot devs seem in no hurry to fix this problem and it's been driving me nuts. So for anybody who values viewing at -1 and uses greasemonkey here's a Script [] . There's a chance of false positives and it's not the most optimized. But I value not having to scroll through > 10 paragraphs of APK, custom hosts files, or 'acceptable ads' spam. - []
--> slashdot devs are too busy installing itunes for their hipster nerd buddys to sort this problem out. - []


I can't get enough of all of this good stuff! Thanks for the informative links! - []


When threatened, APK typically produces a post with links showing he's essentially posted this hundreds of times to slashdot stories... - []


[to apk] Your post got downmodded because you're a nutjob gone off his meds. - []


[to apk] The reason people impersonate you is because everyone thinks you're a moron. The hosts file is not intended to be used as you suggest. - []
-->What? You don't have a 14MB hosts file with ~1million entries in it? Next you'll probably tell me that your computer doesn't start thrashing and take 5 minutes for a DNS lookup! - []


[about apk] - this fwit is as thick as a post. worse, this shithead has mod points. and using them. - []


In before the fight between those two guys and their walls of text... - []




KPA ...thgim dik a ekil .s.b laivirt hcus no emit hcum taht etsaw t'ndluow I sa ,ti gniod em TON si ti - syug ON - []


[to apk] You seriously need to go see a shrink. You are a fucking fruitcake! - []


[to apk] Did you ever consider that it's not just one corrupt moderator, it's a bunch of regular slashdot users who infrequently get mod points who think you are totally full of shit? Stop posting annoying off topic irrelevant bullshit, and people won't mod you down. I'm seriously sick of reading your posts about someone impersonating you. - []


[to apk] you should be forced to use a cholla cactus as a butt-plug - []


[to apk] No one is on your side, that is why you're here. posting. still. No one cares. - []


Who's the more moronic? The original moron, or the one who replies to him knowing full well his comment will certainly be ignored, if not entirely unread, thus bringing the insane troll post to the attention of those who would otherwise not have seen it at all (seeing as it started at 0 and would have rapidly been modded down to -1) and whose post (and, somewhat ironically I grant you, this one as well) now requires 3 more mod points to be spent to hide it? - []


[to apk] I miss trollaxor. His gay porn world of slashdot executives and open-source luminaries was infinitely more entertaining than this drivel. - []


PLEASE stop modding biters up. Anyone who responds to an abvious troll, especually one of these APK trolls, should autometically get the same -1 troll as the damned troll. Any response to a troll only makes the troll do more trolling. Come on, guys, use your brains -- it isn't that hard. Stop feeding the damned trolls! - (missing link)


[to apk] Lick the inside of goatse's anus, it's delicious! - []


Excellent post A++++++++++++ would scroll past again!!!! - []


[to apk] You are the one who is pitiful. If you didn't spam /. with your bullshit you wouldn't have spammer 'impostors' doing the same. Just fuck off and die already, ok? Please, really. Step in front of a bus. Drink some bleach. Whatever it takes, just FUCK OFF and DIE. - []


[to apk] From one AC to another please for the love of god, PRINT YOUR HOST FILE OUT AND CRAM IT DOWN YOUR JAPS EYE!!! For fucks sake we don't care we see this and it takes the piss, short of a full frontal lobotomy what will it take to stop you posting this you moronic fuckwit? - []


[to apk] And someone forgot to take his meds today...Are you really that dense that you cant tell that the only reason the "impostor" exists because you have a hard time realizing that you are wrong and/or wont let it go. It would take a complete moron to not realize that the whole reason he continues to do it is because he knows he can get you to respond by simply posting. This isnt rocket science, this is internet 101... Let me offer you some advice on how to get rid of this "impostor"...shutup - []


[to apk] If you had a 'luser' account it wouldn't be a problem. But you don't want one of those, because your long rambling and bizarrely formatted posts mean your karma gets nuked in next to no time. So I guess you just have to work out which is 'worth it'. Posting AC because I don't want to become your latest fixation. - []


I wouldn't be surprised if that is APK trying to draw attention to himself, since he thinks such endless tirades are examples of him winning and make him look good. When people stop paying attention to him, or post actual counterpoints he can't come up with a response to, he'll post strawman troll postings to shoot down, sometimes just copy pasted from previous stories. - []


[to apk] No one wants to read your copy pasted crap. Maybe someone is mocking you because you make it so easy to? So drop it, and participate like an adult please. - []


Seriously.... What. The. Fuck. Can you two homos just go make out on brokeback mountain already, and stop talking about how one of you misspelled "penetration", and how the other cockblocks with their hosts files while grabing the other's goat? Goodness, it sure feels like being in a mountain range, trying to peer around those fucking orbital tether lengthed posts of pure premium bullsit the two of you somehoq manage to keep pushing out on demand. Shit stinks! At this point, i'd be willing to risk the fucking extinction of all life on earth by redirecting siding spring C/2013 1A to miss Mars and land on both of your fucking heads instead. The deaths of billions would be a small price to pay to shut you two cackling lovebirds up! - []


Listen up jackass, why the hell would somebody want to impersonate you? You're a certified internet kook. Nobody gives a hot about your 3 gig hosts file. And nobody is impersonating you. You're already a fucking parody. - []




Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.


* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts [] I practice.


Disproof of all apk's statements:


RECENT POST LINKS: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
REPORT MISSING LINKS FOR REWARD (check pastebin archive first)


TIP JAR: 1EtLgU5L3jhmVkDmqrWT9VhoZ1F2jSimHS []
RECEIVED: 0.0195 BTC - thx! ;-)

This is an unwell impostor, not me... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317887)

A corrupt slashdot luser has infiltrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 180++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:


A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 180 or so times I noted above) -> []


B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here


(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).


P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March now, & 180++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll:


21++ ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOM HOSTS FILES (how/what/when/where/why):

Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option [] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> [] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions ( via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were: [] []

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> []

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> [] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:


US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth: []

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)


Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:



And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:



As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: []


Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: []


15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy [] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> [] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: [] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:


Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: []


Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: []


Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): []


Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: []


Google sponsored links caught punting malware: []


DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: []


Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: []


Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: []


Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: []


Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: []


Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: []


Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: []


Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: []


Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: []


Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: []












London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: []


Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: []


As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:


Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills: []


AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant): []


It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> []

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:



An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!


19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):



"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like (which protects the Firefox browser)...


20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( [] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( [] ), &/or NoScript ( [] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( [] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:


DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains: []


BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here: []



(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)


DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that): []

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)


Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)


DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit: []


DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak: []


Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9: []


Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against: []


DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards: []


Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!) []




TimeWarner DNS Hijacking: []


DNS Re-Binding Attacks: []


DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture: []


Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability: []


BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning: []


DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs: []


DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion: []


High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued: []


Photobucketâ(TM)s DNS records hijacked: []


Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks: []


DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse: []


HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> []
  ScrubIT DNS -> []
  OpenDNS -> []

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> [] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows, for again, "Layered Security" too)...




"Ever since I've installed a host file ( to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: [] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. [] and [] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)


Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:


Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):


"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!


"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 [] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> [] !


"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> [] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> [] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!


* POSTS ABOUT HOSTS FILES I DID on "/." THAT HAVE DONE WELL BY OTHERS & WERE RATED HIGHLY, 26++ THUSFAR (from +3 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] IN HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> [] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
  HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> []


Windows 7, VISTA, & Server 2008 have a couple of "issues" I don't like in them, & you may not either, depending on your point of view (mine's based solely on efficiency & security), & if my take on these issues aren't "good enough"? I suggest reading what ROOTKIT.COM says, link URL is in my "p.s." @ the bottom of this post:

1.) HOSTS files being unable to use "0" for a blocking IP address - this started in 12/09/2008 after an "MS Patch Tuesday" in fact for VISTA (when it had NO problem using it before that, as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 still can)... & yes, this continues in its descendants, Windows Server 2008 &/or Windows 7 as well.

So, why is this a "problem" you might ask?

Ok - since you can technically use either:

a.) (the "loopback adapter address")
b.) (next smallest & next most efficient)
c.) The smallest & fastest plain-jane 0


You can use ANY of those, in order to block out known bad sites &/or adbanners in a HOSTS file this way??

Microsoft has "promoted bloat" in doing so... no questions asked.

Simply because

1.) = 9 bytes in size on disk & is the largest/slowest
2.) = 7 bytes & is the next largest/slowest in size on disk
3.) 0 = 1 byte

(& HOSTS files extend across EVERY webbrowser, email program, or in general every webbound program you use & thus HOSTS are "global" in coverage this way AND function on any OS that uses the BSD derived IP stack (which most all do mind you, even MS is based off of it, as BSD's IS truly, "the best in the business"), & when coupled with say, IE restricted zones, FireFox addons like NoScript &/or AdBlock, or Opera filter.ini/urlfilter.ini, for layered security in this capacity for webbrowsers & SOME email programs (here, I mean ones "built into" browsers themselves like Opera has for example))

MS has literally promoted bloat in this file, making it load slower from disk, into memory! This compounds itself, the more entries your HOSTS file contains... & for instance? Mine currently contains nearly 654,000 entries of known bad adbanners, bad websites, &/or bad nameservers (used for controlling botnets, misdirecting net requests, etc. et al).

Now, IF I were to use My "huge" HOSTS file would be approximately 27mb in size... using (next smallest) it would be 19mb in size - HOWEVER? Using 0 as my blocking IP, it is only 14mb in size. See my point?

(For loads either in the local DNS cache, or system diskcache if you run w/out the local DNS client service running, this gets slower the larger each HOSTS file entry is (which you have to stall the DNS client service in Windows for larger ones, especially if you use a "giant HOSTS file" (purely relative term, but once it goes over (iirc) 4mb in size, you have to cut the local DNS cache client service)))

NO questions asked - the physics of it backed me up in theory alone, but when I was questioned on it for PROOF thereof?

I wrote a small test program to load such a list into a "pascal record" (which is analagous to a C/C++ structure), which is EXACTLY what the DNS client/DNS API does as well, using a C/C++ structure (basically an array of sorts really, & a structure/record is a precursor part to a full-blown CLASS or OBJECT, minus the functions built in, this is for treating numerous variables as a SINGLE VARIABLE (for efficiency, which FORTRAN as a single example, lacks as a feature, @ least Fortran 77 did, but other languages do not))!

I even wrote another that just loaded my HOSTS file's entirety into a listbox, same results... slowest using, next slowest using, & fastest using 0.

And, sure: Some MORE "goes on" during DNS API loads (iirc, removal of duplicated entries (which I made sure my personal copy does not have these via a program I wrote to purge it of duplicated entries + to sort each entry alphabetically for easier mgt. via say, notepad.exe) & a conversion from decimal values to hex ones), but, nevertheless? My point here "holds true", of slower value loads, record-by-record, from a HOSTS file, when the entries become larger.

So, to "prove my point" to my naysayers?

I timed it using the Win32 API calls "GetTickCount" & then again, using the API calls of "QueryPerformanceCounter" as well, seeing the SAME results (a slowdown when reading in this file from disk, especially when using the larger or line item entries in a HOSTS file, vs. the smaller/faster/more efficient 0).

In my test, I saw a decline in speed/efficiency in my test doing so by using larger blocking addresses ( &/or, vs. the smallest/fastest in 0)... proving me correct on this note!

On this HOSTS issue, and the WFP design issue in my next post below?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I am convinced they (MS) do NOT have a good reason for doing this... because of their lack of response there on this note. Unless it has something to do with IPv6 (most folks use IPv4 still), I cannot understand WHY this design mistake imo, has occurred, in HOSTS files...


2.) The "Windows Filtering Platform", which is now how the firewall works in VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7...

Sure it works in this new single point method & it is simple to manage & "sync" all points of it, making it easier for network techs/admins to manage than the older 3 part method, but that very thing works against it as well, because it is only a single part system now!

Thus, however?

This "single layer design" in WFP, now represents a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE/ATTACK for malware makers to 'take down'!

(Which is 1 of the 1st things a malware attempts to do, is to take down any software firewalls present, or even the "Windows Security Center" itself which should warn you of the firewall "going down", & it's fairly easy to do either by messaging the services they use, or messing up their registry init. settings)

VS. the older (up to) 3 part method used in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, for protecting a system via IP Filtering, the Windows native Firewall, &/or IPSEC. Each of which uses diff. drivers, & layers of the IP stack to function from, as well as registry initialization settings.

Think of the older 3 part design much the same as the reason why folks use door handle locks, deadbolt locks, & chain locks on their doors... multipart layered security.

(Each of which the latter older method used, had 3 separate drivers & registry settings to do their jobs, representing a "phalanx like"/"zone defense like" system of backup of one another (like you see in sports OR ancient wars, and trust me, it WORKS, because on either side of yourself, you have "backup", even if YOU "go down" vs. the opponent)).

I.E.-> Take 1 of the "older method's" 3 part defenses down? 2 others STILL stand in the way, & they are not that simple to take them ALL down...

(Well, @ least NOT as easily as "taking out" a single part defensive system like WFP (the new "Windows Filtering Platform", which powers the VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & yes, Windows 7 firewall defense system)).

On this "single-part/single-point of attack" WFP (vs. Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003's IP stack defense design in 3-part/zone defense/phalanx type arrangement) as well as the HOSTS issue in my post above?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I'll stick to my thoughts on it, until I am shown otherwise & proven wrong.


Following up on what I wrote up above, so those here reading have actual technical references from Microsoft themselves ("The horses' mouth"), in regards to the Firewall/PortFilter/IPSec designs (not HOSTS files, that I am SURE I am correct about, no questions asked) from my "Point #2" above?

Thus, I'll now note how:


1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...


First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in: []

The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths


The following components process IP packets:

IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this: []

APK [mailto]

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> [] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).

C.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem ( offers 2 types for this).

D.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once? GET CACHED! Right into the kernelmode diskcaching subsystem (fast & efficient RAM speed), for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcache (like ANY fil

That's not I folks It's Jeremiah Cornelius... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318057)

THIS is why he's doing it & proof of it, here -> [] when others pointed out Jeremiah Cornelius forgot to submit one of the "first post spams" masquerading as myself as AC, & mistakenly submitted one of the impersonations of myself as his registered 'luser' name here on /. forums.

Pretty pitiful actually, but like every up to no good idiot does? He screwed up & submitted it under his registered 'luser' name here.

* Jeremiah Cornelius: DO YOURSELF, and the rest of us, A GIANT FAVOR MAN: Seek professional psychiatric help!

(Since Jeremiah Cornelius obviously can't get over the fact he made a spelling error on what it is HE ALLEGEDLY DID FOR A LIVING? That's not MY fault... it's HIS!)


P.S.=> I seriously must have dusted JC (in his mind @ least) for his BAD spelling error & it "got his goat"...

I.E.-> Catching what he claimed to do as a job, for YEARS he left "PENETRATION" (correct) spelled as "PENTRATION" (incorrect) on his resume on LinkedIn & I pointed it out as he & his friends trolled me as usual (webmistressrachel, gmhowell, & crew (probably ALL JC no doubt using alterate emails or TOR to do it as a possible - I've caught "them & theirs" doing it before, ala Barbara, not Barbie = TomHudson (same person))).

So THAT is what has gotten his goat in a technical debate & his "geek angst" could only come up with *trying* to "impersonate me" in every news thread on /. for the month of March 2013 so far!

(Just to attempt to 'discredit me' as a spammer here obviously)

Doing so, by posting that "$10,000 challenge" &/or reposts of my old posts on hosts file value to end users into EVERY SINGLE NEWS ARTICLE POSTED on /. ...

It's all I can think of that *might* cause such a mentally troubled 'reaction' like the Jeremiah Cornelius is doing & there's NO QUESTION he's the one doing this spamming of nearly every posted article masquerading as myself...!

... apk

Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (3, Insightful)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317815)

How can anyone consider fingerprint identification on a touch screen as anything but toy security? You handle your phone pretty much each day, so it is highly unlikely that your fingerprints will not be all over it, in particular on the screen. With just a little bit of technique, every criminal will be able to get a usable finger print and unlock your phone. Mythbusters pretty much proved how easy these things are to bypass.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317841)

It has nothing to do with security. This is really for Apple's other business line: collecting information for marketers and governments.

Gov spook: "Well, well, well! We have this guy calling around gun stores and traveling to them. The fingerprints on the checks match - hmmmmm. There's a bunch of background checks for gun purchases, but yet, a lot of cash withdraws. Maybe he's buying guns from private parties that aren't doing background checks in addition to his arsenal. And why does he have an arsenal?!"

They then go to judge, accuse gun buyer as being a terrorist, and BAM! black SUVs and helicopters all because of Apple!

Am I paranoid? Maybe. But just because I'm crazy doesn't mean I'm wrong!

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317879)

In order to do that, they would have to order gun shops to get finger prints from buyers. And if they already are, getting finger prints from phones do not make any difference. You are right in considering that there are serious privacy implications if a government can and do use this to build a national finger print register, i.e. if the fingerprints are collected in central registers, that can be accessed by police or private investigators.

An Argent Sheathing? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318149)

If I had to bet the light bill money one way or the other, my tens of dollars bet on Gov't using the the fingerprint information if they have the ability. I consider it a good sign that all American fingerprints, and DNA for that matter, are not in a database accessible to government/law enforcement entities. Despite all the "compelling" buzzphrases used by officials (children, terrorists, drugs, safety), some evidence still suggests we are a republic.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317907)

Except it can all be boiled down to:
"There's a bunch of background checks for gun purchases"
No real need for apple.

Re: Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

freezin fat guy (713417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317967)

Except that there aren't.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318641)

My take is that people that want to sell the chips and software for biometrics are pushing this.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43319145)

yes and it's been on the NWO agenda forever as well. the forbes article is propaganda in the sense that it tries to legitimize the idea that there is some sort of simple non conspiritorial reason that the whole industry will be rolling various spy tech out. i'd be very suprised if the [insert appropriate spook agency here] doesn't already have access to these companies databases without protest or warrant, but without biometrics it's just words someone entered into a form somewhere.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318085)

Mythbusters showed, it didn't prove. People way before them did the pioneering work.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318199)

it's just for providing a quick lock so that your bro/sis/mom/dad doesn't mess around with your facebook.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319033)

Good point. People living in close proximity to you may manage to figure out your pin code, but they would need to do some extra work to fool the biometrics, which would discourage a lot of nosy people from reading or modifying your personal data.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318297)

" the entire mobile industry has been headed this way for years now"

Reference please?

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319439)

Is it comfy under your rock?

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Instine (963303) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318917)

With micron resolution 3D printers, I wonder if its practical to take stolen fingerprint data and print yourself a finger.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319029)

In most cases, you don't have to. Just use a photocopier or make a mold and fill it with gelatin.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319015)

"Mythbusters pretty much proved how easy these things are to bypass."

The problem is that in order to prevent false negatives, the recognition has to be loose enough to allow way too many false positives.

But -- and here's the big issue, IMHO -- the same is true for facial recognition, and voice recognition.

So you have 3 "biometric security" options, all of which are ridiculously easy to circumvent.

Security theater, anybody?

The really big problem here is that it's a false sense of security. People come to rely on means that aren't secure, they they feel they are secure. This just makes them sitting ducks for malicious people who know what they're doing.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

oPless (63249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319647)

So basically you have three, not-very-good biometric systems but putting them all together magically amplifies security?

It sounds like a pretty bad film ... Sneakers perhaps?

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319621)

The idea is that all those fingerprints all get sent your favorite three letter agency to be stored for later use. I hope nobody thinks this is for our security.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

idji (984038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319941)

if the hires camera is watching for the blood pulsing through the veins and fulling the warmth that is a different story.

Re:Fingerprints? On a touch screen? (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43320839)

The problem with the camera this is that it needs light. If the light from the devices insufficient, then the user is not able to use it in low light situations or darkness. If the biometric information is ever lost or stolen, it cannot be changed like a password. The user is then really stuck up a creek without a paddle.

The Atrix had a fingerprint scanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317819)

And nobody cared.

I got a Motorola Atrix and was surprised to know about the fingerprint scanner. Everybody was talking about the lapdock and the dual core processor, nobody cared about that extra security.

Re:The Atrix had a fingerprint scanner (1)

Barny (103770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318103)

Indeed, I have mine right here and the button to bring it out of sleep is the fingerprint reader. Very nifty and no more smudge-pattern on a screen from the 'security swipe', which anyone can guess in about three tries by following that smudge-pattern.

Re:The Atrix had a fingerprint scanner (2)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318921)

My phone has had facial recognition for a real long time now. Then my son realized he can open the phone by pointing it at my face while I sleep, or a picture of me in the living room, and he can get in. So now I disabled it, because he was really the one I was trying to keep out...

Sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317821)

Sorry, I share my phone with other people. I won't buy one which can't fall back to a simple password and I'm not going to setup different users on my cell phone - way too much effort.

Ripe for problems (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317827)

a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, facial recognition powered by high-definition cameras, and voice recognition

Oooh, and if you cut your finger/forget to shave or lose your voice temporarily -- who needs to use their phone every day?

Re:Ripe for problems (2)

master_kaos (1027308) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317891)

Oh shit, I cut my hand off at work, better call 911... o wait.

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317961)

Both hands?

I think if that happens, your fingerprints will be the least of your concerns.

Re:Ripe for problems (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318061)

Yeah, I mean, what do you want to dial with?

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318133)

I know, I'll just use Siri [] ... Well, fuck.

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318167)

penis-print biometric security is far more useful. Secondary verification system by nut sac wrinkles.

Who has access to it? How likely are you to list that appendage? Who would want to break into your phone if it smells like ball sweat?

Brb, patenting.

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317965)

Oh shit, I cut my hand off at work, better call 911... o wait.

I can dial 911 from my iPhone without unlocking

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318337)

You can press the 9, the 1, and the call button without hands?

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318427)

Then it's not properly designed, the whole point of locking the phone is so that you don't butt dial 911.

Re:Ripe for problems (1)

johnw (3725) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318469)

Then it's not properly designed, the whole point of locking the phone is so that you don't butt dial 911.

Quite the contrary - in many regions it's been a requirement of mobile phones that you can still dial whatever the local emergency code is (911, 999, etc.) or an international emergency code (112) without unlocking the phone.

Just try it now on your phone if it has physical buttons. Not sure how this works with touch screens though.

Re:Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318633)

it works in the same way with real buttons and with touch screen ones. The telecom industry has been regulated and was in hands of the state long enough to have security issues like this early on i.e. not in an agile way (think of unlock for emergency calls when a nice busty lover of a politician got into trouble etc).

Re: Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317923)

All three at once?

Re: Ripe for problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318151)

I've had worse days.

Re:Ripe for problems (1)

Barny (103770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318127)

Well, having used the built in 'droid security support for the fingerprint reader on my atrix, all I need to do is enter a pin number (that can be user set) to access it anyway.

Re:Ripe for problems (1)

idji (984038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319945)

then you tap the login button and type in your password. Some problems are really simple to solve

Re:Ripe for problems (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321687)

IT departments everywhere will need to stock up on bolt cutters and alcohol swabs for when they need to "revoke" compromise credentials.

Orly? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317837)

it is an almost certainty that within the next few years, three biometric options will become standard features in every new phone

Yeah? Who says?

Re:Orly? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318023)

You said it, they may as well be using taint configuration because they can stick their biometrics up their bottoms. Guess who will be the proud owners of a database of the fingerprints of most of the adult population in many countries if this is pushed ahead? The US government. I'm sure they are absolutely delighted with the surplus of freely given information already supplied by facebook and twitter, getting everyone's mugshot and prints is the final finishing touch.

"It's a brave new world, or at least it better be" - Brill, Enemy of the State

Re:Orly? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321313)

People exist electronically. Law enforcement moved on to DNA in the 90's. If you get arrested they take a DNA sample as well as prints for your physical identity. Having a guarantee you are the one using your phone ties you to anything that is associated with your phone. The more phones are being used for banking to purchasing goods, the more having it tied to you as an individual the better it will be for law enforcers. They can then easily identify a person physically and electronically.

Re:Orly? (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318343)

android phones already do facial recognition, and i have seen phones with finger print readers. really this is kind of non-news.

Great (2)

HalAtWork (926717) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317847)

Now identity theft will become so much easier, trojans will be able to steal all that information too and spoofing access will be that much simpler.

Motorola Atrix 4G (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317871)

I have owned this phone for two years. It uses a well-placed fingerprint scanner on the upper back site of the phone, where your index finger naturally rests. It works quite well.

Security on Spyphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317881)

Get real.

Re:Security on Spyphones (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318335)

Get real.

I intended to write a lengthy post about how random people are not the number one threat I perceive when using may smartphone. But the AC said it with 5 words.

pwned (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317885)

The perfect spy. The NSA, CIA, FBI, IRS, Google, MasterCard etc love it.

Re:pwned (1)

sensationull (889870) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318619)

Yeap, what government would not love this, no messy interigation, the device is with the key, the user, just twist their arms a little or give them a drink of water. Bang, access and no messy warrents or waiting.

"Security" on the wrong end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317909)

What good will this do me, when every Nth app sends my address book unbidden to some external server, when the RF side is only tested with the big few vendors instead of actually properly protocol validated, when OTA updates trade operator convenience for my ability to trust my phone, when the thing keeps a close log of wherever I've been, when the operators keep years and years of that same tracking data, and so on, and so forth?

Oh, that's right. I have no rights. I'm the product, the piggy bank that needs to be broken. And the crowbar to do it is exactly that phone. Right, now we know why we "need" biometric security in our mobile leashes.

Motorola Atrix (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317921)

The original Atrix has a fingerprint scanner. And Motorola abandoned it.

Re:Motorola Atrix (3, Informative)

Jay Carlson (28733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318807)

Apple buying the vendor for the fingerprint stack might have something to do with Motorola dropping the ATRIX 4G fingerprint sensor.

The ATRIX 4G was supposed to get an ICS upgrade. There was a "leak" of a partially functional version. My guess is that the licensing issues with Authentec/Apple broke down. Guess Motorola didn't negotiate any long-term contract options.

It's a shame about how AT&T handled pricing on the LXDE subsystem. The X server implemented on the NVidia framebuffer/compositing layer was pretty nice. In theory Android 4.2.2 should support non-mirrored HDMI better, so hopefully I can get a Linux desktop bigger than 1280x720 on this Galaxy S3.

It better get here quick... (1)

Syphonius (11602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317929)

My next phone is just six months away.

It could happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43317941)

There are always a bunch of "people" (I use the term loosely) who will go for crap like biometric authentication on cell phones.
They hear buzzwords and think it is GREAT.

Proof of this- Myspace, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Crap, but people who crave being "on the edge" will jump at anything that lets them use buzzwords and buzz-worthy tech.

Personally, if cell phones suddenly became biometric only, I would stop carrying one.
I'd rather have a secure phone than one with nothing but buzzwords.

slide to unlock is the problem (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317947)

Isn't this more of a problem of enforcing device security policies? If the data is encrypted, does it really matter if the device is locked by PIN, pattern, fingerprint, facial recognition, or some other mechanism?

Re:slide to unlock is the problem (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318073)

Your suggestion is really odd, how do you think that free app is supposed to read information that is encrypted by some other app or even by you, especially without you noticing it?

Gee, some people...

Fingerprints are more convenient than good passwor (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318593)

My phone isn't locked at akk, nectar of convenience. A FAST fingerprint reader is better them a password just because it would be more convenient, so I might use it. Which also refutes "fingerprint readers can be hacked". Yeah, so can PINs, much more easily, and I can pick any common lock within a minute, but they are still useful.

Biometrics is a dead-end (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43317957)

What all the proponents conveniently gloss over is that biometrics has not solved one fundamental problem: How to change the "password" once it gets stolen. And it will get stolen. Storing hashes does not help at all, as an attacker can just get new samples with ease. They just need to hack the sensors. Other ways exist. And once the biometric print has been compromised, there is nothing that realistically can be done.

This fundamental limitation is the cause that not real security expert takes biometrics seriously in unsupervised scenarios. There are enough wannabe security experts around that will gladly take a lot of money for biometrics that will not work.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (4, Interesting)

teidou (651247) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318009)

Yep, that's a serious issue.

There is a difference between identity and authentication, and that difference is lost when one uses biometric identity measures for authentication.

Great writeup on this from 2006 over at MSDN []

Short version: identify and authentication must remain distinct if you want to have a system where users are held responsible for their actions.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318137)

That's less a factor than the fact that biometry may be much but it's not secret. Unless you're wearing gloves constantly (and, let's be honest, who does aside of some comic supervillains?) you leave fingerprints all over the place, all the time. The biometry print IS compromised, because it never was secret in the first place.

It's great for establishing identity. There's nothing more you than you yourself. But it would be great to mix something secret into the fold. Unless you can at least ensure that nobody but you will access the device, something that is quite impossible with a device that you pretty much have to take out into public. Else, an old fashion cord phone would probably do.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318399)

They are not trying to solve the problem that you think they are trying to solve. Yes, this security will fail against targeted advanced attackers. That's not the point. The lock on my door won't keep out SWAT either. The point is that it isn't worth the while for Joe Schmoe idiot mugger to obtain fingerprints, eye scans, face scans and voice samples from someone he just lifted that phone from. Your nosy neighbor isn't likely to go to that level of trouble to read your email if the phone is found on the street either. Well done biometrics can cut out half-assed attacks which means it cuts out almost all attacks. That's the point. No one is suggesting securing the nuclear codes with this system.

The real problem for this kind of system is how often the phone will refuse access to you because it can't recognize you even though it should.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319191)

I do very well understand that. The problem is that malware capturing fingerprints, voice-prints and faces is easy and has just not been so far because there is no point. So, no, I am not talking about targeted attacks at all, but automatized, wide-deployed ones.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (2)

swillden (191260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319329)

What all the proponents conveniently gloss over is that biometrics has not solved one fundamental problem: How to change the "password" once it gets stolen.

Biometrics are not passwords. They have some similarities, but also some important differences. Equating the two will just result in misunderstanding both -- as in this case; thinking that biometrics must be changeable like passwords to be useful.

The intent of a biometric isn't to provide a replaceable, short-lived secret authenticator, it's to provide a public (though not necessarily widely-distributed) authenticator permanently bound to an individual. When designing a biometric security solution you should never assume that the biometric data is secret. Instead, you need to assure that the following assumptions hold:

1. The object being scanned is actually the subject being authenticated. This is the greatest weakness of biometric authentication in most circumstances, because it's generally fairly easy to scan some other object which replicates the authorized user's characteristics. This is also where biometrics fundamentally differ from passwords, since if this assumption holds it doesn't matter if an attacker knows the characteristics of your face/fingerprint/whatever.

2. The path between scanner and matching engine is secure, otherwise replay attacks can easily subvert the authentication.

3. The template storage and matching engine are secure. This is also a problem for password authentication, but it's generally fairly easy to assure in both cases.

4. The resolution of the matching, at the selected match threshold, is sufficient. The analogous concern in the case of passwords is password length/complexity, but it's a little different because when we talk about password complexity we do it in the context of brute force attacks. The biometric analogy of a brute force attack is presenting many different people, trying to find one that coincidentally matches, which is rarely a concern (assuming the biometric isn't being misused for both identification and authentication). With biometrics, used properly, you just need to assure that the false positive rate is low enough for the threat model.

So, what does that mean for the idea of biometric security for phones? Assumptions 2 and 3 can probably be invalidated by a sophisticated attacker, but a sophisticated attacker can likely bypass the whole authentication process regardless, so biometrics are no worse than passwords. The same is basically true of assumption 4.

For cellphones, the problem is obviously assumption #1. The sensors that will be embedded in a phone will of necessity be inexpensive. Even worse, the phone's environment is completely uncontrolled. This creates an ideal environment for an attacker to spoof the sensor with gummy fingers, photographs, etc.

However, that doesn't make it useless. In particular, incidental and continuous re-authentication is idea. Rather than using your face or finger to "unlock" the phone, have the phone occasionally check the faces within view of the front-facing camera, or the print of the finger swiping. That won't make it impossible for an attacker to use the phone, but it will make it significantly more difficult and -- this is the key -- do so with zero inconvenience to the authorized user. That sort of security should be added to a password for unlock, though for some people with low personal security requirements it might be able to stand alone.

Re:Biometrics is a dead-end (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321005)

In addition to the stolen "password problem" there's this: Sometimes the actual biometric information differences are quite subtle, so that common digital encodings that are practical will generate the same code for two individuals. That means with millions of individuals, there is an increasing chance that a fingerprint encoder or other biometric device will generate the same code for two or more individuals., Common practical face recognition systems often have problems differentiating identical twins.

How about just having whole disk encryption? (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318001)

I think my employer already demands too many agents scanners, tools, audits, logs and processes. Just encrypt the phone and even go so far that after the nth failed login it performs a factory reset.But enough of this "Let's add just 3 or 4 MORE steps to logging into your device" nonsense.

Re:How about just having whole disk encryption? (2)

scdeimos (632778) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318115)

iThingies have had hardware encryption for years. That's why a device erase is so quick - it only needs to erase the master key and everything else is toast. [] and [] (page 7 onwards)

Re:How about just having whole disk encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318349)

Too bad device encryption is largely worthless.

Tether jb / root and bam, 10,000 possible passwords -- a joke for even old Pentium 3s.

Re:How about just having whole disk encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318747)

Only if the user is using a four-digit PIN. And if the user is using a four-digit PIN, odds are he or she has nothing on the device worth stealing anyway.

Re:How about just having whole disk encryption? (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319151)

Believe it or not the majority of smart-phone users have absolutely no idea of the correlation between password length and a secure hash.

Great until you need to revoke it (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318003)

How do I get a new thumbprint exactly? When Mythbusters can clone my print with a gummibear or scotch tape, and my phone gets hacked, how do I get a new one?

666 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318013) either the hand or forhead ...I've heard this before....Revelations 13 :-)

Re:666 (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318089)

How much for your hand or for head?

Fingers are removable (1)

nickovs (115935) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318143)

Given that much of the rise in crime [] in New York last year was due to people having the iOS devices stolen, how long will it be before muggings at knife-point typically also involve the thief stealing the owner's index finger too?

Re:Fingers are removable (1)

teidou (651247) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318163)

The MSDN article I cited above mentions "Police in Malaysia are hunting for the members of a violent gang who chopped off a car owner’s finger to get round the vehicle’s hi-tech security system"...

Re:Fingers are removable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318467)

Continuing use of the device would then require lugging someone else's finger around. How is the mugger going to unload something like that?

Re:Fingers are removable (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319077)

Just like you can change a pin code, can't you just change the unlocking fingerprint as well? If not, reselling would be pretty difficult ...

Already done. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318177)

I had a win 6 phone with a fingerprint scanner years ago from HTC. My current phone (nexus 4) uses the front camera to recognize my face. Are we talking about new to IOS phones?

Re:Already done. (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318235)

I had a win 6 phone with a fingerprint scanner years ago from HTC. My current phone (nexus 4) uses the front camera to recognize my face. Are we talking about new to IOS phones?

They were all the rage ten years ago. HP's PocketPC 3 devices had them. I think they may even have still been Compaq at the time. Using the screen is new, but now I think about it, the scanning devices were probably the same kind of capacitive matrix we're using now.

What most of these systems did was they hashed the fingerprint anyway, since they were IIRC vectorised, measuring the size and shape of the print. If the new devices do that too, it's less of a security problem, but if there's userspace access to the capacitive grid, you might be able to grab the image of the fingerprint with a trojan.

And so... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318259)

...we get a security system with proven flaws and workarounds, and the vendor gets even more of our private information. Bonus.

How about a builtin smartcard reader and fips140-2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318353)

Just sayin

fingerprint sensor on a phone is great (1)

Vormhat (2648363) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318365)

Ask any owner of an Atrix 4g (the original). Too bad Motorola left us hanging with gingerbread.

Money is the real reason (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43318417)

It will force the masses to buy a new phone because advertising will make the people believe that you must have it. Whether this is because of security or because it is the latest gimmick is irrelevant.

Your 4 digit code is enough security. If people steal your phone, they want to sell it. They are not interested in your data. If people are after the data on your phone, then biometric security will not stop them.

If your data is something they might be after, then you should also think if having it on a phone (that might get stolen) is the right place to have it.

One scenario if I am after your data could be that I call you from another stolen phone when you are in public. The moment you are saying hello, I grab the phone and have your phone while it is unlocked. I then change the lock settings.
There are many flaws with this idea, but I am sure there will be many more options if you think about then the 2 seconds I have.

no thanks. i dont want this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318863)

pass for me.

Security Theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43318983)

This is security theater at its best. It will provide no more security than the current Android "swipe" screen. Nosy cops are still going to be able to bypass any security by attaching their data sucking devices. Not to mention that Android is currently been getting hit hard by data leaking Trojans from the Android store. I don't want these virus writing scumbags having access to my fingerprint, face scan and voice print. Thanks, but no thanks, I'll stay with a swipe or a passcode.

Good security or (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year and a half ago | (#43319097)

"You mean all my biometric data stored on a Google/Apple device? Where do I sign up?? I hope that in the future it's uploaded to the cloud - it would be so cool to have it integrated into every facet of my life" - Timfoil Hatticus

Let's not forget that a SHA512 salted 8 digit mnemonic encoded password is far harder to crack than obtaining one's fingerprint on a touch-screen.

Re:Good security or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43319817)

I agree. My current phone is a pos clamshell, and I intend to not upgrade until it is unable to connect. I do willingly give information to a great many people on a daily basis through my computer use, but that is something that I can control to some extent through selective program use and modified code. And not downloading free fonts advertised in the corner.
But this verification method could have the potential to allow someone to imitate me in the commission of a crime, something that has happened very recently. I feel more than uncomfortable about that, and for that reason I will never get a device that requires such input at any time. If it is willing to accept a blank screen, or an impression of, as stated earlier, my nut sac I would feel more comfortable. But the ability to take a print scan without me knowing could be there still.
SHA512 is preferable to me if I have to use a verification system of any sort. The security is better, and without my biometrics almost assuredly getting publicly available at some point in time.

I've got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43319323)

We should all carry keychain fobs that have a access code that changes every five minutes...

Nothing but problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43320195)

What happens when thieves can fake your finger-print or your voice-print? You will have no security at all.

What happens when your voice-box or fingers are injured. All that data will be locked inside the device.

No-one is mentioning the obvious: The NSA and DHS will demand back-door access and ban high-level encryption for their 'war on terror'.

My next phone will not. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321067)

When my current phone dies, I'm buying another dumb phone. I do NOT need a "smart" phone to track me and let others track me, I'll stick with a dumb phone that makes phone calls.

Sneakers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43321331)

My voice is my passport. Verify me. Please?

Can I change how it is used? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321341)

Biometric devices are very good at providing a user name. I would never us them for anything else.

Bio-metrics are static passwords (1)

ad454 (325846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43321627)

Bio-metrics are static passwords with very painful revocation, that one typically leaks all over the place.

Unless I wear gloves all the time to hide my fingerprints, wear a mask to hide my face, stop talking to hide my voice, etc., it is nearly impossible to hide my bio-metrics. And once captured electronically as data, they can be copied indefinitely, and cannot be revoked without a lot of pain and suffering.

Right now, criminals typically ignore capturing the bio-metrics of victims, since they are barely used by the public. But the public starts to use bio-metric for accessing high valued assets, there will be a huge financial incentive for criminals to dust drinking glasses at restaurants, photographing peoples, recording voices, etc.

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