Re: [websec] Question on Pinning Overrides

Chris Palmer <> Mon, 20 October 2014 18:40 UTC

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Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:40:14 -0700
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From: Chris Palmer <>
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Subject: Re: [websec] Question on Pinning Overrides
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On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 9:27 AM, Jeffrey Walton <> wrote:

> I think the more common cases of "I want to use my device at work" or
> "I must click through the buttons to use the wifi hotspot" is devoid
> of any user understanding and decision. In this use case, the user did
> not define a trust anchor. Rather, it was surreptitiously installed by
> the device management software or unscrupulous service providers.

To install a new trust-anchor, the attacker/owner/user/device
administrator must have administrative control over the device, or
must trick the true owner into mis-using their power.

Such an attacker is, by necessity, outside the scope of the key
pinning threat model.

> In fact, the "user's decision" was likely hidden away in a Terms of
> Service when Nokia was caught performing intercept en masse [0]. In

If the device manufacturer is also taking administrative control over
devices in the field, then market pressure (such as those articles) is
the only recourse. We can't do anything technically that would not
also break legitimate use cases.