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Thread: Encryption security

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Encryption security

    In an online store app, how do you give the anonymous web user (passed through a connection string) enough privilege to encrypt/decrypt card data without compromising security (in case the web site gets hacked)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Portland, Oregon
    I am not an expert in general security, but I asked someone who is. He replied using "a single illustrative example."

    Say you restrict the permissions of the anonymous web user account such that it can call a stored procedure that encrypts the credit card number and writes it to the database. The web app account has only write access, not read. You could then create a credit card payment processing web service that runs as another account. This could run on the web server or, for better isolation, on another box. This service would have the read access to the encrypted credit card number necessary to complete the transaction. The web app could call the payment processing service and invoke a payment. If someone compromised the web server they might be able to see incoming credit card numbers as they were initially being stored, but they would not be able to read any credit card numbers from the database or access them during a payment transaction.

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