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open security

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Open security is an approach to safeguarding software, hardware and other information system components with methods whose design and details are publicly available.

Open security is based on the idea that systems should be inherently secure by design. That concept derives from Kerckhoff’s principle, which maintains that a cryptographic system should be secure enough that, even if all its details but the key are available to the general public, the system will still be safe. The mathematician Claude Shannon further refined Kerckhoff’s principle. According to Shannon’s maxim, "one ought to design systems under the assumption that the enemy will immediately gain full familiarity with them."

An open cryptographic system includes algorithmic transparency. In such a system, the strength of a cryptographic implementation must be based on secrecy of the key. Keys are a fundamental element of cryptography, generated to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information.

One of the major challenges of cryptography is ensuring the secrecy of the keys, while ensuring that the authorized parties can access them at the appropriate time. Different levels of security may be sought, depending on the sensitivity of the message. A system is said to be computationally secure if it is theoretically breakable through a brute force attack but the time and expense required makes it not worth the effort. A system is said to be unconditionally or perfectly security exists when an attacker with unlimited resources still could not break it.

This was last updated in August 2015

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public/private key combos, SSL, and the like, are pretty well known and seem to have some success. Personally I'm a big fan of systems like oAuth to manage my logins. Overall, I'm so for it that I wonder if that creates new kinds of risks! :-)
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what text? OH that one. that's almost as dumb as using all the pictures when the alarm is not set to armed. Why do you need to take pictures when you are home? Or when you set the alarm for at home? REALLY? the only time the pictures should be taken is when you set the alarm for gone! that way you are not using all your pictures for stupid stuff like taking out the trash or checking on your dogs. It should only take pictures when you are away from home and have set the alarm. Example: I had to take a U-Haul truck back the other day, and while I was gone someone broke into my house and set off the alarms. Well I couldn't check to see who it was because the pictures had all been used up from us running in and out all morning. So whats the point of a security system that wont work while you are away from home?
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