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Re: Should Emacs provide a uuid function?

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Should Emacs provide a uuid function?
Date: Sun, 01 May 2011 03:39:36 +0900

Ken Raeburn writes:

 > (Why, yes, I *have* spent a lot of years thinking about some
 > aspects of computer and network security.)

Sure, I have too.  Enough so that I have one computer that doesn't
have a network connection at all.  (Not coincidentally, it's the only
Windows-based computer I use regularly.)

On the other hand, correlating my location with Suzy's is a waste of
the hacker's time, because it's easy enough to figure out where I am
several days a month from the online university course catalog and
from webserver logs (IP addresses for the rather balkanized campus
network often allows determining probable -- assuming no deliberate
obfuscation -- location within 50m).

 > Different sorts of exposures lead to different kinds of
 > opportunities for attacks.  Just because one hasn't been closed off
 > doesn't mean it's not worth looking at others.

Certainly.  I don't think this one justifies an addition to core

(1) the attacks it *might* foreclose for *some* people with insecure
    versions of uuidgen are minor, even compared to the minor costs of
    writing, documenting, and maintaining an internal uuidgen;

(2) at least some of the use cases proposed so far would likely not
    want to use uuidgen-style identifiers, and IMO it is rather likely
    that adding an internal uuidgen to core is unlikely to much reduce
    the number of different implementations, most of which will be
    more or less insecure; and

(3) I think the whole idea is currently only half baked, especially
    with respect to UUID formats, and it would not hurt to have one or
    more implementations in ELPA, which would allow experience to
    determine best practice before putting in core.

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