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Microsoft Dynamics GP "Encrypted" Using Caesar Cipher 206

Posted by kdawson
from the no-safety-in-numbers dept.
scribblej writes "Many large companies use Microsoft's Dynamics GP product for accounting, and many of these companies use it to store credit card numbers for billing customers. Turns out these numbers (and anything else in GP) are encrypted only by means of a simple substitution cipher. This includes the master system password, which can be easily selected and decrypted from the GP database by any user. Quoting: '[Y]ou DON'T HAVE TO GIVE ACCESS TO THE DYNAMICS DATABASE. What that means is if you create a base user in GP, that user can log into the SQL server and run a select statement on the table containing the "encrypted" GP System password. Not good.'" Update: 05/22 02:57 GMT by T : The original linked post has been revised in a few places; significantly, the following has been added as a correction: "By default, GP gives the user access to the DYNAMICS database but the user CANNOT login to the SQL server using SQL Enterprise Manager."
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Microsoft Dynamics GP "Encrypted" Using Caesar Cipher

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:41AM (#32294052)

    The weakness of encryption is justified by the non-importance of the asset it protects.

    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:52AM (#32294202) Journal

      From TFS:

      Many large companies use Microsoft's Dynamics GP product for accounting, and many of these companies use it to store credit card numbers for billing customers.

      Sorry, if you're actually going to say that a lot of consumer credit cards aren't valuable or important, you're going to have to provide just a teensy bit more justification.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jd (1658)

        I think the GP means the cards are all probably maxed out, blocked/revoked, or both.

      • PCI-DSS (Score:4, Informative)

        by realxmp (518717) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:10PM (#32294434)
        And storing credit card details in this way is in direct violation of the PCI-DSS which as a merchant the companies will have attested that they are in compliance with. If they get caught or worse leak data then there are severe financial penalties.
        • by rjstanford (69735)

          Actually, that's not the case - I don't believe that PCI mandates "good" encryption, just encryption. Besides, one thing that it absolutely does mandate, at least for service providers (the portion of PCI I'm most familiar with), is that your database be in a different, firewalled, network segment than your application server. So even if GP is creating accounts on the DB server, nobody other than the application should be able to just connect to it anyway. Of course, having just gone through our audit, I

    • Going by the code table in the article, the encryption algorithm is not a substitution cipher. Microsoft's algorithm is an XOR with 0xEE. To decrypt, XOR with 0xEE again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by robot256 (1635039)
        Um, yeah, that is a substitution cipher because each byte is encoded by substituting a different specific byte. It's just a substitution that's really easy to do on a computer with a simple mathematical operation.
        • by dave562 (969951) on Friday May 21, 2010 @03:05PM (#32297058) Journal

          Whoever coded the "encryption" routine really dropped the ball. SQL Server supports AES encryption on individual fields. The first result of a Google search for "sql server field encryption" points to an MSDN article with code examples of how to use AES-256 encryption.

          How do these things keep happening? There have to be mistakes on so many levels. Whoever developed the spec obviously was clueless. The person who coded the spec was probably clueless, and/or didn't have the authority to do things the right way. The tools to make these applications secure are available. You'd think that a Microsoft coder using a Microsoft database could use the Microsoft solution properly.

          The more I deal with corporate America and the people who find themselves in charge of projects, the more I believe that competence really is a Bell curve with the center of the curve being INCOMPETENT, the far left is DISABLED. How do these people sleep at night? The only thing that I can figure is that they really are ignorant. If I do something half assed, it bugs me. It keeps me up at night. So either these people just don't give a rats ass and are working in a culture that lacks accountability, or they are completely ignorant and are working in a culture that lacks accountability. A friend of mine once told me, "Most people don't do the right thing because it is the right thing. They do the right thing because they fear the consequences of getting caught doing the wrong thing." Every where I look in society, there are fewer and fewer consequences.

    • by ElizabethGreene (1185405) on Friday May 21, 2010 @03:30PM (#32297436)

      I have the displeasure of working with Great Plains regularly, and this isn't surprising at all.

      A couple of points for the panic stricken:

      1. Great Plains uses SQL logins and it hashes the passwords of users created from within GP. Since 9.0, it salts this hash using the sql server name. A GP user other than sa can NOT login to SQL Enterprise Manager with their GP credentials. That encryption has NOT been broken (yet). (That WOULD be a real problem.)

      2. The ability to decrypt the System password is useless if you can't query the system password from the database. If your users have the ability to query any table in the database directly, then you have a bigger problem than weak encryption.

      3. GP overlays role and task based security on top of the SQL login mechanism. Having the decrypted System Password is less useful if your application user doesn't have the ability to reach the User Setup or Security Options menus. These menus should be turned off for everyone not in the GP PowerUser role.

      Is this great for GP? No. Neither is it the harbinger of the apocalypse.

      -ellie

  • obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:41AM (#32294058)

    et tu brutus?

    • Re:obligatory (Score:5, Informative)

      by XanC (644172) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:51AM (#32294192)

      You need to use the vocative case there, not the nominative.

      • Re:obligatory (Score:4, Informative)

        by ari_j (90255) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:13PM (#32294476)
        Here's a good Latin lesson to help with this type of difficulty: Romanes Eunt Domus [youtube.com].
      • Re:obligatory (Score:5, Interesting)

        by interval1066 (668936) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:36PM (#32294788) Homepage Journal

        "You need to use the vocative case there, not the nominative."

        ie; "Brute." (pronounced "Brut-AY"
        Getting back to the main story, let me add "Doh!" That's a major back door. And Microsoft, wanting to be our gatekeepers in so many ways and even with this big security initiative they've been trying to get everyone to believe they are on, is just sort of sluffing it off with their usual sheepish "Well, its not likely to actually happen." nonsense.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually it is pronounced "BruH-tEH". The "AY" pronunciation at the ending is an english barbarism. I guess that conquering only the south half of the island was a mistake. Maybe next time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd (1658)

      "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in fa me!" (Carry On's version)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by uglyMood (322284)
      Kai su, teknon? - There, fixed that for you. Not universally accepted, but he certainly didn't utter Shakespeare's line.
      • by ari_j (90255)
        Caesar: WTF? Screw you, man!

        There, fixed that for you. Universally accepted as what he would have said today to mean the same thing as he did then, whether by speaking the first half of a Greek curse or just by turning his eyes away from his traitorous friend.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Did Ceaser invent this cipher? It's THAT old? er, wait... [wikipedia.org]

      The Caesar cipher is named after Julius Caesar, who, according to Suetonius, used it with a shift of three to protect messages of military significance

      Great Ceaser's ghost! But whoa...

      While Caesar's was the first recorded use of this scheme, other substitution ciphers are known to have been used earlier.

      Wow. Prior art? I'll bet they tried to patent it.

  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by the_one_wesp (1785252) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:41AM (#32294060)
    Ohg vg'f jnl zber frpher gung jnl
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by the_one_wesp (1785252)
      I disagree with this being off topic. Perhaps, though, if /.ers are too hasty to recognize a quick rot13, that justifies why MS thinks they can do the same with their products... o.O
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is better --- preceding message encrypted with rot26.

      • Re:But... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jgreco (1542031) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:52AM (#32294200)

        I guess the question is, how many people even know what rot13 is these days?

        I mean, really, my rot13 script's nearly 20 years old and I'll bet I use it less than once a year these days...

        % ls -l bin/script/rot13
        -rwx------ 1 jgreco user 64 Nov 11 1991 bin/script/rot13*
        %

        • Re:But... (Score:4, Funny)

          by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:05PM (#32294376)
          Yeah, kids these days are using rot26 instead. Twice as secure.
          • Yeah, kids these days are using rot26 instead. Twice as secure.

            Thats a good step, but because of the improvement of computation technology in the last few years, I am am using rot104, which is four times the strength of rot26. I am planning a move to rot208 sometime this year, but it is non-inconsequential with any real volume of data. But the fact is, you need to keep ahead of the curve to insure that the alphabet soup agencies can't read your wow chat logs...
        • Thanks to my rot13 encoded TrueCrypt container, I can proudly say I use it every day and haven't felt this secure on the internet in years!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by langelgjm (860756)
          In vim, g?G will perform rot13 from the cursor position to the end of the document; g?$ to the end of the line, etc.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I guess the question is, how many people even know what rot13 is these days?

          I guess the question is, how many people know what tr is these days?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tempest69 (572798)
          I run it six times to be really secure. Computers are getting faster you know.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

      by swanzilla (1458281) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:01PM (#32294308) Homepage

      Ohg vg'f jnl zber frpher gung jnl

      But it's way more secure that way

      (mad cryptoquote skillz)

  • by 2names (531755) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:41AM (#32294062)
    They should hire some of them "too smart for their own good" Googlers.
  • ::gasp:: (Score:2, Funny)

    by Pojut (1027544)

    A Microsoft product with security problems? Say it ain't so, Joe!

    • Re:::gasp:: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DavidR1991 (1047748) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:46AM (#32294122) Homepage

      Yeah, but this isn't a security flaw due to an oversight or simple mistake. This is a massive downright idiotic flaw! How the HELL did this make it into a product?

      • Not that long ago, competent security was a criminal offense to export. It still is, unless the code is Open Source (and we all know how Microsoft loves Open Source). The practical difference between a Caesar cipher and DES is that the Caesar cipher is faster so more transactions can be performed. You could do more leaving things in plain-text, but regulations usually require encryption of some sort for this kind of data. However, those same regulations don't usually stipulate any particular strength of encryption, so Caesar becomes ideal. The high throughput will sell better and the absence of security means it evades export controls. You end up with the largest possible market.

        If there was a recognized, official (or even semi-official) standard API and ABI for cryptography libraries, ITAR would be less of an issue. You could swap out any crypto library in any product and swap in an alternative. You could then use any crypto library (and therefore any crypto algorithm) you liked.

        If standards better-mandated what level of security was required, weak algorithms would never be used. No corporation would dare risk the penalties and so no vendor would dare supply soft crypto.

        The market's preference for high throughput is perfectly reasonable, but it is often unwilling to invest in security - which is why there are so many issues of this kind. If corporations were more willing to invest in securing their systems, say by using hardware crypto engines to get the high throughput they needed, they would be able to use essentially bullet-proof algorithms without harming the amount of data they could manage.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by palegray.net (1195047)

          Not that long ago, competent security was a criminal offense to export. It still is, unless the code is Open Source (and we all know how Microsoft loves Open Source).

          I'm sure as heck no Microsoft fan, but they've been exporting strong cryptographic components for a long time now, and not in an open source format. Please reference the following materials for further guidance on this topic:

          Export of cryptography in the United States [wikipedia.org]
          International Traffic in Arms Regulations 2009 [state.gov]

          Sure, you can't export this stuff to Iran, North Korea, etc, but there are very few real obstacles aside from that. This is pure and simple failure on Microsoft's part, on the most basic le

        • by raddan (519638) *
          You can have nigh-unbreakable ciphers that are just as fast as ROT13. XOR is a single operation on most processors.

          The slowness comes in when you want features like asymmetric cryptography. Features that are not required here.
        • The practical difference between a Caesar cipher and DES is that the Caesar cipher is faster so more transactions can be performed.

          Umm, no?

          Caesar, and substitution-based ciphers in general, are so easy to break that they're given as puzzles in the daily newspapers (some aphorism is encrypted with a substitution cipher; you need to figure out what it is). Basically, you know the frequencies with which various letters, pairs of letters, etc. appear in English text; so you can compute the frequencies with which the characters in the ciphertext appear and determine a correspondence that way.

          DES, on the other hand, mangles the statistics p

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jd (1658)

            DES is sufficiently weak that it is possible to build a home-grown cluster that can break a DES key in minutes. Yes, DES is "strong" in the sense that the algorithm itself has no significant flaws that anyone can detect, but when dealing with a credit card system where it's quite plausible that each card could have a thousand dollars available on it on average, obtaining 500 cards would cover the cost of the EFF's DES-breaking machine and therefore cover the costs. Everything else would be sheer profit for

        • by ivoras (455934)

          The practical difference between a Caesar cipher and DES is that the Caesar cipher is faster so more transactions can be performed. You could do more leaving things in plain-text, but regulations usually require encryption of some sort for this kind of data. However, those same regulations don't usually stipulate any particular strength of encryption, so Caesar becomes ideal.

          Actually, RC4 is not that much slower than Casear, mainly because is implemented sort of like Caesar with extra steps to modify the substitution table at runtime. OpenSSL can do RC4 on modern hardware faster than 300 MB/s. Even though it is as a "combiner" stream cipher and as such tricky to actually use securely, it would be much better than the probably ad-hoc implemented Caesar.

          If there was a recognized, official (or even semi-official) standard API and ABI for cryptography libraries, ITAR would be less of an issue.

          You mean like their official ones [microsoft.com]? They could have used their own crypto API, but they didn't.

          If standards better-mandated what level of security was required, weak algorithms would never be used. No corporation would dare risk the penalties and so no vendor would dare supply soft crypto.

          You are right - this is 50% of the

          • by jd (1658)

            You are right - this is 50% of the problem here. The other 50% is MS just being lazy.

            Well, yes. If the IT managers can't tell the difference between Caesar cipher and AES, then it is arguably lazy to use Caesar. Mind you, less work done for the same income from sales equals more profit. And in a world (and stockmarket) driven by profit margins, voluntarily cutting those margins makes no business sense. (It's why the highest-risers in the stockmarket are also the high-risks and also the ones tied to companie

        • Not that long ago, competent security was a criminal offense to export. It still is, unless the code is Open Source (and we all know how Microsoft loves Open Source). The practical difference between a Caesar cipher and DES is that the Caesar cipher is faster so more transactions can be performed.

          Depends on your definition of "not that long ago." Since 2000, the US has lifted many restrictions on export. What MS used is a simple cipher that they've used since Roman times (hence the name Caesar). Even if

      • Re:::gasp:: (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:47PM (#32294932)

        Microsoft Dynamics GP used to be Great Plains Software. It was purchased by Microsoft in 2001.

        The security is a relic of the program originally created by Great Plains Software. Although Microsoft should have fixed this, it was never Microsoft's idea in the first place.

        MS is working on integrating GP with Active Directory.

        I'm all for MS Bashing, but seriously...

        Who do people blame for Flash? Adobe...but it was Macromedia (or SmartSketch if you want to go way back) that unleashed the plague upon the human race...

        • Re:::gasp:: (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday May 21, 2010 @01:14PM (#32295312) Homepage Journal

          Whether the folks at Microsoft wrote this themselves, or whether they instead paid $1.1 billion for this software 9 years ago it is still pretty much the same thing. Either way this makes the folks at Microsoft look like amateurs. This is precisely the sort of thing that only closed source proprietary software can get away with.

          • by Amouth (879122)

            sorry not just Closed source

            http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1571 [debian.org]

            remember that gem???

            http://digitaloffense.net/tools/debian-openssl/ [digitaloffense.net]

            "All SSL and SSH keys generated on Debian-based systems (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc) between September 2006 and May 13th, 2008 may be affected."

            A good little write up.

            Sorry but i have to say that these are both on par with each other.. both have very large and bad effects.

            one is close source the other is open source.

            I will give you that you see things like this far more often

      • Fear not, Microsoft have just announced a patch that updates the encryption/decryption algorithms to add ROT13 and XOR to the process..
      • Where was the much-vaunted Security Development Lifecycle process (http://blogs.msdn.com/sdl/)? I guess the threat model consisted of a six month old baby pounding on a keyboard. The responsible engineer(s), PMs, and VP should be fired.
      • Yeah, but this isn't a security flaw due to an oversight or simple mistake. This is a massive downright idiotic flaw! How the HELL did this make it into a product?

        Because the claims that Microsoft has good, or even competent, programmers, engineers and managers is at best a myth. That myth has been put to rest many, many years ago, but the marketing, astroturfing [zdnet.com], and lobbying firms keep bringing it up again and again. Anyone repeating that is probably on the payroll of one of those firms or so dumb that they should be bitchslapped into next week for opening their mouth.

        Seriously, these problems are synonymous with Microsoft and the passivity that allows them to

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        This is a massive downright idiotic flaw! How the HELL did this make it into a product?

        Simple -- MS believes in security through obscurity. I doubt anyone or anything will ever teach them that it's bullshit, expect more of the same.

        But give them credit, their interfaces are pretty. Unusable, but pretty.

  • Incredible. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzekNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:44AM (#32294100) Homepage Journal

    So, this Microsoft product uses what amounts to the same "encryption" that the CVS pserver protocol uses. Hilarious.

  • They'll issue a patch next tuesday to improve security the ROT13 way - running data through the algorithm twice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:48AM (#32294142)

    I don't know if this is any news at all. Most ERP systems do not have the data in the database encrypted at all. You should never give any direct access to your ERP database to anybody. If absolutely necessary, just create a view in another DB schema and give a read access to it only to selected users (so they could access for example the inventory information useing excel/access).

    • The news here is they were claiming to be using encryption, but really were not. Regardless of whether or not encryption is needed in the first place, you don't mislead your customers like that.

      • The news here is they were claiming to be using encryption, but really were not.

        Hail! [wikipedia.org]

        In cryptography, a Caesar cipher, also known as a Caesar's cipher, the shift cipher, Caesar's code or Caesar shift, is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Classical ciphers, in discussions about modern computing, can't reasonably be considered on the same footing as modern ciphers. Using a classical cipher is no better than not using a cipher at all, hence no encryption.

          But hey, this is slashdot where pedantry passes for insightfulness, so what the hell.

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            But hey, this is slashdot where pedantry passes for insightfulness, so what the hell.

            This is some new level of pedantry. I saw that they did use "encryption", but quickly wrote off Caesar's Cipher as any sort of "real" encryption.

            I mean, you have a PEDANTIC BITCH telling you that she agrees that you didn't need to be more explicit.

            But then, hey, perhaps for the individual being pedantic enough to complain, Caesar's Cipher is still an effective encryption system.

            • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

              A certain amount of pedantry is of course always good fun but I agree, this is just too much.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        The news here is they were claiming to be using encryption, but really were not.

        They are. Just not very strong encryption.

        • Man: I came here for some good encryption.
        • Microsoft: No you didn't. You came here for encryption.
        • Man: Encryption isn't just substitution.
        • Microsoft: It can be.
        • Man: Encryption is a connected series of mathematical operations intending to establish obfuscation.
        • Microsoft: Look, if I encrypt for you I must substitute for the original text.
        • Man: Yes, but it isn't just a simple one-
      • Regardless of whether or not encryption is needed in the first place, you don't mislead your customers like that.

        Microsoft has $50,000,000,000 in the bank that says you're wrong. Honestly, at this point I don't know what else their customer could expect.

      • > ...you don't mislead your customers like that.

        The customers for this product are PHBs. They want to be misled.

    • You should never give any direct access to your ERP database to anybody

      That's slight overkill. I would encourage you to create proper database users, and grant them select/update/insert/delete rights only as appropriate. If you need per-column permissions, create views that hide those columns, and if they need read/write access, provide instead-of triggers on those views to support their needs.

      The main reasons I would encourage you not to let users have direct access:

      1) Users don't know what they're seeing, they don't know which lookup tables to join to, or they don't understand how the data's organized. They'll write their own reports, come to the wrong conclusions, convince management of their erroneous beliefs, and you'll have to clean up the mess. "I got my data from the database" shouldn't be good enough.

      2) Most ERP products (really, most database-backed products) are not built to keep themselves truly logically consistent without the help of some outside application layer. There are lots of reasons for that: developers are taught that databases are just for storage, they don't want to learn procedural SQL, they're trying to be database-agnostic the only way they know how, ... Giving users write access means they can easily get all the data out of synch (I don't just mean foreign keys here, thank you) by performing only half of a complex operation the application layer would have guaranteed fully done.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Vancorps (746090)

        To be honest, it sounds like neither anonymous nor yourself have dealt with ERP systems at a database level. I'll give you a brief overview of why none of that works. First, there are six companies in my database and they do over 100 million in transactions every year. That database is 60,000 tables and there are only six users of the system. The database is only accessible from an accounting or management VLAN for obvious reasons. Going through and figuring out 10s of thousands of tables, triggers, procedu

        • It's true, I wasn't the DBA for Lawson (on Oracle.) But it was fun to discover how much it kept of its Cobol roots, down to the "padding" fields that you would traditionally leave in records so you could add fields later without having to rewrite the files. (They were still occasionally used that way, even inside Oracle.) I love legacy code. Fun times.

          Number of tables isn't exactly an excuse in itself, though the fact that they're poorly documented might be. My current database has (truly) over a thousand d

    • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:34PM (#32294764) Journal

      Yes but this is GP we are talking about there really is no "Application Server" the clients all connect to the database! The users running the client therefore must have access to connect to the database and do DML queries on many objects. Any users that actually need to run the application and not some limited web front end you have built or something are SQL users. The only real workaround is to only allow database connections from selct hosts and have one of those hosts be a terminal server. The best part is the GP application has lots bugs when running under terminal services!

  • by Eberlin (570874) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:52AM (#32294198) Homepage

    I figure that the variation of Caesar Cipher, ROT13, was easy to decipher so for maximum security, I always run it through the ROT13 encoder twice before I send it. Hell, I'm encoding this message in that method now so it will have to take a bit of cunning for you to read this comment. So if you've managed to read this, congratulations, you are qualified to work in Microsoft's security department.

  • Here's a text only cache [googleusercontent.com] of the page.

  • Full Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:58AM (#32294270)

    Sorry... I didn't expect /. to pick this up, and didn't really warn Chris Kois that I'd submitted it. My fault.

    Below is the original article:

    I use the term "encryption" loosely in this article. As you read on, you'll realize why...

    I've been doing some work on a plugin for Microsoft Dynamics GP, which is an accounting system aimed at Medium sized to Large businesses. To give you an idea of what type of application this is: There are companies that pay somewhere around $10,000-$15,000 to consultants or VARS (Value Added Resellers) to implement a Microsoft Dynamics GP solution for their business. Many of the VARs have their own plugins and solutions for Microsoft Dynamics GP, usually written in .NET or Dexterity. The process of installing and maintaining GP is an industry all it's own and it's not cheap for a company to maintain this accounting system.

    I've been searching for the "encryption algorithm" or at least some way other way to "encrypt" data in GP in some other way than within Dexterity code. I was really hoping that there would be some .NET library that would do this for me, but I was never able to find anything that would help me do this. So, I became interested in what type of "encryption" this is. Somewhere (I can't remember where) I found something that indicated that the it's a symmetric key encryption algorithm. The message boards were not much help either. Anywhere I went, I basically saw this same type of statement, "the encryption algorithm is a closely guarded secret".

    Today, while doing some testing, I noticed something with data that we were saving to a field which utilizes the GP "encryption". The plugin I was testing puts data in an encrypted field (not that it needs to because it's not sensitive in nature), and I was testing with the same values each time. As I would expect, I saw the same data stored in the field in the database for each row in the table. However, I noticed that one of the entries was different, by 2 characters. That seemed very odd to me. After looking at it some more and conducting some more tests, it looks like I simply miskeyed my test data, but it prompted me to take another look at this.

    After trying a couple different combinations of test data, it became very obvious that changing only one character in the test data appeared to only alter 2 characters of the encrypted data. So I ran through a battery of tests, and came up with this:

    Yep, it's basically your run-of-the-mill Substitution cipher. The worst part, there's evidence all over the place that this was a VERY weak encryption algorithm for awhile, but nobody seemed to pay any attention to it when people were asking how they could reset passwords of users in the database (Post 1 - Post 2)

    I did some more searching, because there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT SAW THIS... I found a good write up on the MSDN blogs that explains pretty well how the GP encryption was used (here).

    The article is evidence to support a theory that I have, which is after GP moved to SQL server authentication, the encryption method didn't seem to be needed any longer so they never replaced. I don't know if the word was released to developers and integrators that the "encryption algorithm" wasn't ideal for storage of sensitive information, but I don't know how many plugins or customizations use it either.

    EXCEPT.... Microsoft still uses it for their GP system password, which is the password needed to get to the Security Roles/Tasks and all the User Security related forms while in GP. What's even worse, if you create a new user, you have to give the user explicit rights to the company or companies you want the user to access, but you DON'T HAVE TO GIVE ACCESS TO THE DYNAMICS DATABASE. What that means is if you create a base user in GP, that user can log into the SQL server and run a select statement on the table containing the "encrypted" GP System password... Not good...

    I created a

    • Re:Full Article (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mpolino (1816870) on Friday May 21, 2010 @01:11PM (#32295252)
      I'm a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and this line "What that means is if you create a base user in GP, that user can log into the SQL server and run a select statement on the table containing the "encrypted" GP System password... " is completely false. GP users can't log in to SQL using their GP passwords. The article doesn't state a version being used. On some older versions it was possible to chose to allow a user to access SQL with their GP login. This is not possible on any of the supported versions of Dynamics GP. Additionally, the System password referred to has always been a second line of defense. Security has to be given to a particular window in the application before GP even asks for the System password. Relying on the System password alone for security has never been a best practice. There are a number of other areas where the writer confuses different types of passwords and security in Dynamics GP making it clear that he's never actually used the application to understand how differnt passwords and settings interact to provide security. Mark
  • That's when PA-DSS takes affect. And PA-DSS applies to any application that stores or transmits cardholder data (credit card number). They require all that information to be stored using "strong encryption", which is defined as either TripleDES with a 168bit Key or AES. Bunch of other rules too for anything web-based. Like for one the database storing the data cannot be connected to the internet. Requires at least 2 servers with your web facing server having 2 nics. One that connects to a DMZ or has a

  • by theskunkmonkey (839144) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:23PM (#32294622) Homepage

    Heytay areway oinggay otay useway Igpay Atinlay!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by snowgirl (978879)

      I disagree with your implementation of the Igpay Atinlay algorithm as described in RFC PL.

      "They" is properly encrypted as "Ey-thay", as "th" is a single phoneme.

      Of course, if you're sticking to the MICROSOFT implementation of going simply with orthographic characters, and you want to be non-standard with proper implementations, then go ahead.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        Who the fuck are they giving mod points to anymore?

        INFORMATIVE? This was total "out of my ass" bullshit. ... *shrugs and goes back to her alcohol*

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday May 21, 2010 @12:30PM (#32294698)
    This piece of advanced technology obviously came from the cesarean section of their R&D department.
  • Everyone knows that Microsoft outsources their security testing to beta testers and software pirates... you know, the Microsoft Community.

    I blame the wicked smart geniuses like Paul Thurrot... he's totally the kind of wise guy who evaluates early MS products, someone who appreciates the finer parts of Microsoft security.

    I'm sure he has a prepared excuse for this Microsoft fail, just like he has one for every other MS gaffe.

  • Anybody that's ever administered GP will tell you that its security is a complete and utter joke. It's basically non-existent, or "security through obscurity" at best.

    All users are granted full access to the data in SQL Server, and security restrictions are implemented entirely in the front-end application. There's no secure application tier whatsoever - just a client application connecting to a database that's being treated as a dumb shared persistence layer. I've used MS Access to create more secure appli

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