Securing data against theft of the server or hackers

Discussion in 'ASP .Net' started by Nick Gilbert, May 27, 2004.

  1. Nick Gilbert

    Nick Gilbert Guest

    Hi,

    As part of a website (ASP.NET) we're creating, we need the ability to
    store documents with pretty much 'mission critical' security. ie, if the
    server is completely compromised (eg a trojan/virus is installed or
    someone physically steals the server) they will still not be able to
    gain access to the content of the files. I can securely transfer the
    files to and from the server, but I am unsure of how best to store them
    securely.

    What options do I have? I have thought of using public key encryption
    like PGP, but the users would then have to be trusted with a private key
    which they could leak or lose, and all users would have to have the same
    private key so that they could see each others files. So I'm not sure
    that idea could be made to work.

    I'm wondering if there are any methods that would fit my needs (even if
    it involves buying 3rd party hardware or software to achieve it).

    If it matters, it will probably be a Win 2003 web server with a separate
    box running SQL Server 2000 which could also be used for file storage.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Nick Gilbert
     
    Nick Gilbert, May 27, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. If I was in your situation I'd seriously consider storing the files in SQL
    Server. It's got built-in, high-quality security and can store files as
    easily as any other kind of data.

    --
    I hope this helps,
    Steve C. Orr, MCSD, MVP
    http://Steve.Orr.net


    "Nick Gilbert" <> wrote in message
    news:%...
    > Hi,
    >
    > As part of a website (ASP.NET) we're creating, we need the ability to
    > store documents with pretty much 'mission critical' security. ie, if the
    > server is completely compromised (eg a trojan/virus is installed or
    > someone physically steals the server) they will still not be able to
    > gain access to the content of the files. I can securely transfer the
    > files to and from the server, but I am unsure of how best to store them
    > securely.
    >
    > What options do I have? I have thought of using public key encryption
    > like PGP, but the users would then have to be trusted with a private key
    > which they could leak or lose, and all users would have to have the same
    > private key so that they could see each others files. So I'm not sure
    > that idea could be made to work.
    >
    > I'm wondering if there are any methods that would fit my needs (even if
    > it involves buying 3rd party hardware or software to achieve it).
    >
    > If it matters, it will probably be a Win 2003 web server with a separate
    > box running SQL Server 2000 which could also be used for file storage.
    >
    > Any advice would be appreciated!
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Nick Gilbert
     
    Steve C. Orr [MVP, MCSD], May 27, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Nick Gilbert

    Nick Gilbert Guest

    Thanks for your reply, but I don't think you've understood my problem.

    SQL Server is only secure if you're limited to accessing it via queries.
    But if someone has access to the box, they have access to the database
    and all the files within it. They could just steal the database files
    and restore them to their own server. SQL Server has no encryption on
    its database files, so if you have the database, you also have access to
    all the information in the files. I need a much more secure solution
    than that... What you're suggesting isn't really any more secure than
    storing something in a non-passworded ZIP/TAR file (or any other file
    format which stores multiple files). If you have the database, you don't
    even need to know any passwords to get the files back out again...

    Also SQL Server isn't very good for storing lots of large files (eg
    gigabytes of them) - I think the files themselves are best kept
    seperately from the data.

    I was more thinking of some kind of encryption system...

    Nick....

    Steve C. Orr [MVP, MCSD] wrote:

    > If I was in your situation I'd seriously consider storing the files in SQL
    > Server. It's got built-in, high-quality security and can store files as
    > easily as any other kind of data.
    >
     
    Nick Gilbert, May 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Nick Gilbert

    Scott Allen Guest

    I've never tried this in an ASP.NET setting, but with server 2003
    there is the Encrypting File System:

    Encrypting File System in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/cryptfs.mspx

    Also, you might want to check out the DPAPI. There are .NET wrappers
    for this API.

    Windows Data Protection
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/security/...-us/dnsecure/html/windataprotection-dpapi.asp


    Of course, there is also the "C - 4" chip .... I just dont trust any
    company with "cyber" in the name:
    http://www.computeruser.com/news/00/07/12/news15.html?&_ref=233393570

    HTH,

    --
    Scott
    http://www.OdeToCode.com

    On Thu, 27 May 2004 09:47:31 +0100, Nick Gilbert
    <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >As part of a website (ASP.NET) we're creating, we need the ability to
    >store documents with pretty much 'mission critical' security. ie, if the
    >server is completely compromised (eg a trojan/virus is installed or
    >someone physically steals the server) they will still not be able to
    >gain access to the content of the files. I can securely transfer the
    >files to and from the server, but I am unsure of how best to store them
    >securely.
    >
    >What options do I have? I have thought of using public key encryption
    >like PGP, but the users would then have to be trusted with a private key
    >which they could leak or lose, and all users would have to have the same
    >private key so that they could see each others files. So I'm not sure
    >that idea could be made to work.
    >
    >I'm wondering if there are any methods that would fit my needs (even if
    >it involves buying 3rd party hardware or software to achieve it).
    >
    >If it matters, it will probably be a Win 2003 web server with a separate
    >box running SQL Server 2000 which could also be used for file storage.
    >
    >Any advice would be appreciated!
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Nick Gilbert
     
    Scott Allen, May 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Nick Gilbert

    Paul Drust Guest

    Nick,

    I was just looking into a similar issue yesterday.

    Check out "NetLib Encryptionizer". I've never used it, but it allows
    columns or an entire database to be encrypted.

    The feature you might like is that you can set up the security so the
    DB server is "linked" (my word) to another computer on the network so
    that, even if the DB server is physically stolen the encrypted
    database cannot be read because it is no longer connected to the
    "linked" system.

    Might be what you want.


    -- Paul


    Nick Gilbert <> wrote in message news:<ecQSz$>...
    > Thanks for your reply, but I don't think you've understood my problem.
    >
    > SQL Server is only secure if you're limited to accessing it via queries.
    > But if someone has access to the box, they have access to the database
    > and all the files within it. They could just steal the database files
    > and restore them to their own server. SQL Server has no encryption on
    > its database files, so if you have the database, you also have access to
    > all the information in the files. I need a much more secure solution
    > than that... What you're suggesting isn't really any more secure than
    > storing something in a non-passworded ZIP/TAR file (or any other file
    > format which stores multiple files). If you have the database, you don't
    > even need to know any passwords to get the files back out again...
    >
    > Also SQL Server isn't very good for storing lots of large files (eg
    > gigabytes of them) - I think the files themselves are best kept
    > seperately from the data.
    >
    > I was more thinking of some kind of encryption system...
    >
    > Nick....
    >
    > Steve C. Orr [MVP, MCSD] wrote:
    >
    > > If I was in your situation I'd seriously consider storing the files in SQL
    > > Server. It's got built-in, high-quality security and can store files as
    > > easily as any other kind of data.
    > >
     
    Paul Drust, May 27, 2004
    #5
  6. I'd be quite nervous about having a database that is so wide open to the
    public as yours seems to be.

    In that case, it sounds like you'll be needing some encryption whether you
    store your files in SQL Server or elsewhere.
    Here's some articles on encrypting files:
    http://www.fawcette.com/vsm/2002_08/online/hottips/fergus/default.asp
    http://www.devx.com/security/article/7019

    --
    I hope this helps,
    Steve C. Orr, MCSD, MVP
    http://Steve.Orr.net


    "Nick Gilbert" <> wrote in message
    news:ecQSz$...
    > Thanks for your reply, but I don't think you've understood my problem.
    >
    > SQL Server is only secure if you're limited to accessing it via queries.
    > But if someone has access to the box, they have access to the database
    > and all the files within it. They could just steal the database files
    > and restore them to their own server. SQL Server has no encryption on
    > its database files, so if you have the database, you also have access to
    > all the information in the files. I need a much more secure solution
    > than that... What you're suggesting isn't really any more secure than
    > storing something in a non-passworded ZIP/TAR file (or any other file
    > format which stores multiple files). If you have the database, you don't
    > even need to know any passwords to get the files back out again...
    >
    > Also SQL Server isn't very good for storing lots of large files (eg
    > gigabytes of them) - I think the files themselves are best kept
    > seperately from the data.
    >
    > I was more thinking of some kind of encryption system...
    >
    > Nick....
    >
    > Steve C. Orr [MVP, MCSD] wrote:
    >
    > > If I was in your situation I'd seriously consider storing the files in

    SQL
    > > Server. It's got built-in, high-quality security and can store files as
    > > easily as any other kind of data.
    > >
     
    Steve C. Orr [MVP, MCSD], May 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Nick Gilbert

    Nick Gilbert Guest

    > I'd be quite nervous about having a database that is so wide open to the
    > public as yours seems to be.


    It won't be wide open - there are tight logon restrictions and the site
    is SSL only. Additionally the SQL Server resides on a seperate box
    behind a second firewall. However the database only contains meta-data
    about the files.. it's the files I'm concerned about.

    Nick...
     
    Nick Gilbert, May 28, 2004
    #7
  8. Hi Nick,

    I also think Steve Orr's suggestion on use encryption component is
    reasonable and that'll make your resources mantained in not only database
    but also anyother persistence. And it seems there isn't any other means on
    protecting your resources if the machine is controled by the hacker.:)


    Regards,

    Steven Cheng
    Microsoft Online Support

    Get Secure! www.microsoft.com/security
    (This posting is provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confers no
    rights.)

    Get Preview at ASP.NET whidbey
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/whidbey/default.aspx
     
    Steven Cheng[MSFT], May 31, 2004
    #8
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. ringo
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    547
    gerry
    Jan 16, 2004
  2. Replies:
    7
    Views:
    402
    Robbie Hatley
    Jul 9, 2006
  3. ringo

    Could aspnet_wp.exe recycle be due to hackers?

    ringo, Jan 15, 2004, in forum: ASP .Net Security
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    138
    gerry
    Jan 16, 2004
  4. ASP web hackers

    , Apr 16, 2004, in forum: ASP General
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    229
    Ken Schaefer
    Apr 18, 2004
  5. Giles Bowkett

    smalltalk resources for ruby hackers?

    Giles Bowkett, Dec 5, 2006, in forum: Ruby
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    117
    Isaac Gouy
    Dec 7, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page