SSL not required for setup.exe download

Archie Cobbs
Tue Mar 12 13:47:00 GMT 2019

On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 6:00 PM Lee wrote:
> > I must say I'm surprised so many people think it's a good idea to
> > leave cygwin open to trivial MITM attacks, which is the current state
> > of affairs.
> But it's only open to a trivial MITM attack if the user types in
> "" - correct?  Why isn't the fix "don't do that"?

Because security that rests on assuming humans will always do the
correct thing has proven to be unreliable (understatement).

> > This is my opinion only of course, but if cygwin wants to have any
> > security credibility, it should simply disallow non-SSL downloads of
> > setup.exe. Otherwise the chain of authenticity is broken forever.
> They sign setup.exe, so "the chain of authenticity" is there regardless.

I don't see your point.

Downloading the sig file over HTTP is useless... any attacker going to
the trouble to launch a MITM attack for setup.exe will certainly also
do it for the sig file as well.

OTOH, if you download the file over HTTPS..  then your client supports
SSL. Which is exactly what I'm saying should be mandatory.


Archie L. Cobbs

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