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Re: [vox] MD5 Checksums and Public Downloading
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Re: [vox] MD5 Checksums and Public Downloading



begin Micah Cowan <micah@cowan.name> 
> Can somebody explain to me what the point is for generating checksums
> for verifying downloaded files?  If the primary purpose is security,
> what is to prevent a malicious person, either "man-in-the-middle" or
> someone who tampered with a repository, from generating a new MD5 sum
> for you to verify?  What exactly does the checksum prevent?
 
i think the point here is a preponderance of evidence.  md5sums are
usually published in a variety of places, and it would be hard for said
malicious person to tamper with the whole bunch of them.

> If the primary purpose is simply to guard against corrupt data, I'd
> hardly think it worth the effort, considering I very rarely get
> corrupted data.

you're probably right here, but i think the keyword here is "i" (or
rather "you").  other people may not be so lucky.  certainly back in the
80's when i was using a modem to transfer \/\/arez, errors were pretty
common place.  modems didn't have error detection like they do today.

> I should think that such things as PGP signatures would be infinitely
> more valuable to ensuring the integrity of data.  Literally -- since I
> still don't understand how checksums accomplish that task at all.

i would agree with you 100%.   a signature is longer in length though.
some people may object to that.

pete
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