[Bitcoin-development] Bitcoin at POS using BIP70, NFC and offline payments - implementer feedback

Andreas Schildbach andreas at schildbach.de
Mon Feb 23 09:49:17 UTC 2015


I think at this point I'd like to bring back my original suggestion of
using DHKE (Diffie-Hellman) or simlar. I know we'd still need to
transmit some secret that could be eavesdropped, but at least the
session could not be decrypted from recordings.

Anyway, establishing a "mostly secure" session is clearly an improvement
to no protection at all. If we can't find a solution to the dilemma of
how to exchange the secret, I suggest going ahead with what we have and
make the best from it.


On 02/23/2015 08:36 AM, Andy Schroder wrote:
> I agree that NFC is the best we have as far as a trust anchor that you
> are paying the right person. The thing I am worried about is the privacy
> loss that could happen if there is someone passively monitoring the
> connection. So, in response to some of your comments below and also in
> response to some of Eric Voskuil's comments in another recent e-mail:
> 
> Consider some cases:
> 
> If NFC is assumed private, then sending the session key over the NFC
> connection gives the payer and the payee assumed confidence that that a
> private bluetooth connection can be created.
> 
> If the NFC actually isn't private, then by sending the session key over
> it means the bluetooth connection is not private. An eavesdropper can
> listen to all communication and possibly modify the communication, but
> the payer and payee won't necessarily know if eavesdropping occurs
> unless communication is also modified (which could be difficult to do
> for a really low range communication).
> 
> If we send a public key of the payee over the NFC connection (in place
> of a session key) and the NFC connection is assumed trusted (and is
> unmodified but actually monitored by an eavesdropper) and use that
> public key received via NFC to encrypt a session key and send it back
> via bluetooth, to then initiate an encrypted bluetooth connection using
> that session key for the remaining communication, then the payee still
> receives payment as expected and the payer sends the payment they
> expected, and the eavesdropper doesn't see anything.
> 
> If we send a public key of the payee over the NFC connection (in place
> of a session key) and the NFC connection is assumed trusted (and is
> actually modified by an eavesdropper) and use that public key received
> via NFC to encrypt a session key and send it back via bluetooth, to then
> initiate an encrypted bluetooth connection using that session key for
> the remaining communication, then the payee receives no payment and the
> attack is quickly identified because the customer receives no product
> for their payment and they notify the payee, and hopefully the problem
> remedied and no further customers are affected. The privacy loss will be
> significantly reduced and the motive for such attacks will be reduced.
> It's possible a really sophisticated modification could be done where
> the attacker encrypts and decrypts the communication and then relays to
> each party (without them knowing or any glitches detected), but I guess
> I'm not sure how easy that would be on such a close proximity device?
> 
> Erick Voskuil mentioned this same problem would even occur if you had a
> hardwired connection to the payment terminal and those wires were
> compromised. I guess I still think what I am saying would be better in
> that case. There is also more obvious physical tampering required to
> mess with wires.
> 
> I'm not sure if there is any trust anchor required of the payer by the
> payee, is there? Eric also mentioned a need for this. Why does the payer
> care who they are as long as they get a payment received? Just to avoid
> a sophisticated modification" that I mention above? I can see how this
> could be the case for a longer range communication (like over the
> internet), but I'm not convinced it will be easy on really short ranges?
> It's almost like the attacker would be better off to just replace the
> entire POS internals than mess with an attack like that, in which case
> everything we could do locally (other than the payment request signing
> using PKI), is useless.
> 
> I'm not a cryptography expert so I apologize if there is something
> rudimentary that I am missing here.
> 
> Andy Schroder
> 
> On 02/22/2015 08:02 PM, Andreas Schildbach wrote:
>> On 02/23/2015 12:32 AM, Andy Schroder wrote:
>>> I guess we need to decide whether we want to consider NFC communication
>>> private or not. I don't know that I think it can be. An eavesdropper can
>>> place a tiny snooping device near and read the communication. If it is
>>> just passive, then the merchant/operator won't realize it's there. So, I
>>> don't know if I like your idea (mentioned in your other reply) of
>>> putting the session key in the URL is a good idea?
>> I think the "trust by proximity" is the best we've got. If we don't
>> trust the NFC link (or the QR code scan), what other options have we
>> got? Speaking the session key by voice? Bad UX, and can be eavesdropped
>> as well of course.
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Download BIRT iHub F-Type - The Free Enterprise-Grade BIRT Server
>> from Actuate! Instantly Supercharge Your Business Reports and Dashboards
>> with Interactivity, Sharing, Native Excel Exports, App Integration & more
>> Get technology previously reserved for billion-dollar corporations, FREE
>> http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=190641631&iu=/4140/ostg.clktrk
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Bitcoin-development mailing list
>> Bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/bitcoin-development
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Download BIRT iHub F-Type - The Free Enterprise-Grade BIRT Server
> from Actuate! Instantly Supercharge Your Business Reports and Dashboards
> with Interactivity, Sharing, Native Excel Exports, App Integration & more
> Get technology previously reserved for billion-dollar corporations, FREE
> http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=190641631&iu=/4140/ostg.clktrk
> 
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Bitcoin-development mailing list
> Bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/bitcoin-development
> 






More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list