[Cryptography] open questions in secure protocol design?

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Sun May 31 12:55:36 EDT 2015

On 05/31/2015 07:00 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:

> The reason it took so long to deprecate SHA-1 is the long tail of machines
> from the era when regular O/S upgrades were expected. Even now there are
> all those companies whose IT departments show their uncompromising
> commitment to security by continuing to run Windows XP.

Has Microsoft provided a motive to refuse the upgrade?  I have
not used their software in years, but I'm under the impression
that XP is the last version which can be legally maintained in
a known state:  That is, without giving Microsoft Carte-Blanche
to implement any change in security or any other part of the
software that they want to change, for reasons that have nothing
to do with any threat model their customers may be facing.

If true, the people continuing to run XP have a point; it may
be the last version of Windows in which they have the option
to refuse a downgrade attack by anyone who can coerce Microsoft,
or even to wait until new software has been adequately tested
before adopting it.

Of course, there is at least one other motive that MS may have
provided to refuse the upgrade; is XP the last version of
windows that can legally be maintained without making continual
monthly payments to Microsoft?  If so, then companies may only
be running XP until they sort out their migration away from


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