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Re: Suggestion for improved identD

  • From: Dalvenjah FoxFire
  • Date: Wed May 20 13:02:54 1998

On Wed, May 20, 1998 at 11:57:29AM -0400, Jay R. Ashworth put this into my mailbox:

> On Wed, May 20, 1998 at 08:26:28AM -0700, Dalvenjah FoxFire wrote:
> > I hate to break it to you, but not everyone runs Win95 or a Niftee NT
> > Box where people can forge ident to be whatever they please. Some of us
> > actually run REAL multiuser operating systems where the ident can be trusted.
> [ ... ]
> > I don't want to hear any BS about how 'ident is unreliable' and 'ident
> > can't be trusted'. If it's been properly set up such that the ISP controls
> > what is returned rather than the user, or if the protocol is properly
> > redesigned to guarantee this, it *WILL* be trustworthy. And a particular
> > ISP can't be trusted to run a proper ident, then they get their entire
> > network blocked.
> 
> I hate to point this out, Dal, but what is being asserted is that "the
> operator of the ident daemon is not under the same administrative span
> of control as I am".  _That_ is why we say that it "cannot be
> trusted".  Trust has a _very specific_ meaning there.

Okay...I can understand that. However, if the protocol gets redesigned to
allow for a 'domain-wide' ident server (for sake of argument), and I set up
my client to put up a flag when it gets an answer from the domain-wide
server as opposed to the host server, I'm going to put more trust in that
domain-wide server than I would a response from the host directly.

It was also just pointed out to me that the idea of banning someone
based on ident is a matter of authentication, not identification, and
so doesn't really have a place in this discussion. I'm willing to forego
that, and reserve that discussion for a different protocol.

> It _might_ be reliable... but then again, it might not.  Unless _you_
> have a _contract_ with the _guy at the other end_, specifying that
> he'll run an authenticated ident server, and guarantee on pain of
> indemnity that it's accurate, you can't call it _trustworthy_.
> 
> There _is_ a difference between that and _useful_, however.

Agreed. Part of my original idea (which is now my main idea for this
discussion) is that time and time again, I have gotten responses to
complaints about users that 'we need another incident so we can correlate
this with our logs properly'; or even better, 'oops, looks like we weren't
logging yesterday'. If we can come up with some form of ident that makes it
a no-brainer for the ISP to a) set up and b) plug in a string and get the
username (or other identification token) and timestamp so they can give
the user a good talking to or yank their account, I will be happy.

My problem is folks who make sweeping declarations that because one
isn't sure when one can trust ident, it's not useful at all. That's not
the case.

-dalvenjah

-- 
 Dalvenjah FoxFire (aka Sven Nielsen)  I bet living in a nudist colony takes
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