A Comparative Long-Term Study of Fallback Authentication

Abstract—Fallback authentication, the process of recovering
access to an account if the primary authenticator is forgotten
or lost, is of significant importance in real-world applications.
A variety of mechanisms are deployed, ranging from secondary
channels (such as email and SMS), over personal knowledge
questions (such as the “mother’s maiden name”) to social authentication (such as vouching-based approaches). One central
difference with primary authentication is that the elapsed time
between enrollment and authentication can be much longer,
typically in the range of years. However, few of the mechanisms
used today have been studied over such long time-spans, making
claims about their usability difficult to generalize to real-world
applications. Additionally, most past studies have considered one
or two mechanisms only, and deriving a meaningful comparison
of a relevant number of mechanisms from the individual datapoints is not easy. In this work in progress paper, we report on the
design of a usability study that we will use to study the usability
of authentication mechanisms over a more realistic time-frame of
up to 18 months, and will provide a fair comparison of the four
most widely used fallback authentication schemes. We present
results of a pre-study with 74 participants that ran over 4 weeks
and indicates that schemes based on email and SMS are more
usable. Mechanisms based on designated trustees and personal
knowledge questions, on the other hand, fall short, both in terms
of convenience and efficiency.

Source: https://www.mobsec.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/media/mobsec/veroeffentlichungen/2019/02/20/usec2019-30-wip-fallback-long-term-study-finalv2.pdf

Security in Plan 9

The security architecture of the Plan 9″ operating system has
recently been redesigned to address some technical shortcomings. This
redesign provided an opportunity also to make the system more convenient to use securely. Plan 9 has thus improved in two ways not usually
seen together: it has become more secure and easier to use.
The central component of the new architecture is a per-user selfcontained agent called factotum. Factotum securely holds a copy of
the users keys and negotiates authentication protocols, on behalf of the
user, with secure services around the network. Concentrating security
code in a single program offers several advantages including: ease of
update or repair to broken security software and protocols; the ability to
run secure services at a lower privilege level; uniform management of
keys for all services; and an opportunity to provide single sign on, even
to unchanged legacy applications. Factotum has an unusual architecture: it is implemented as a Plan 9 file server.

Source: https://plan9.io/sys/doc/auth.pdf

Exploring container security: Using Cloud Security Command Center (and five partner tools) to detect and manage an attack | Google Cloud Blog

If you suspect that a container has been compromised, what do you do? In today’s blog post on container security, we’re focusing in on container runtime security—how to detect, respond to, and mitigate suspected threats for containers running in production. There’s no one way to respond to an attack, but there are best practices that you can follow, and in the event of a compromise, we want to make it easy for you to do the right thing.

Source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/gcp/exploring-container-security-using-cloud-security-comma

Exploring container security: Running a tight ship with Kubernetes Engine 1.10 | Google Cloud Blog

It’s only been a few months since we last spoke about securing Google Kubernetes Engine, but a lot has changed since then. Our security team has been working to further harden Kubernetes Engine, so that you can deploy sensitive containerized applications on the platform with confidence. Today we’ll walk through the latest best practices for hardening your Kubernetes Engine cluster, with updates for new features in Kubernetes Engine versions 1.9 and 1.10.

Source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/gcp/exploring-container-security-running-a-tight-ship-with-kubernetes-engine-1-10

Exploring container security: Protecting and defending your Kubernetes Engine network | Google Cloud Blog

Security is a crucial factor in deciding which public cloud provider to move to—if at all. Containers have become the standard way to deploy applications both in the public cloud and on-premises, and Google Kubernetes Engine implements several best practices to ensure the security and privacy of your deployments. In this post, we’ll answer some of your questions related to container networking security of Kubernetes Engine, and how it differs from traditional VM networking security.

Source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/gcp/exploring-container-security-protecting-and-defending-your-kubernetes-engine-network