Attacks/Breaches
3/30/2011
01:30 PM
50%
50%

Comodo Reports Two More Registration Authorities Hacked

The digital certificate issuer has deactivated the affected accounts and begun to implement security and validation reforms.

10 Massive Security Breaches
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 10 Massive Security Breaches
Two new registration authority (RA) accounts have been compromised at Comodo, the digital certificate issuer revealed Tuesday.

"Two further RA accounts have since been compromised and had RA privileges withdrawn. No further mis-issued certificates have resulted from those compromises," said Robin Alden, chief technical officer of Comodo, in a Usenet post. He said that no private Comodo keys were accessed or stolen.

The compromised accounts, which have been deactivated, were discovered during an investigation into a recent incident in which an attacker -- self-identified as being a solo Iranian hacker -- was able to fraudulently issue five certificates for domains including Firefox add-ons, Gmail, and Microsoft Live.

How were the two new RAs -- not named by Comodo -- compromised? According to Alden, most RAs must confirm all digital certificate requests by sending an email to a person with an email address on the requesting domain, or to a person that's explicitly mentioned as a contact in a site's WHOIS entry.

But 9% of the RAs that work with Comodo weren't using that process. In the case of the recent incident, that was because "the RA did a -- verified by Comodo -- good job of validating domain control and had a good and close relationship with his small number of customers," said Alden. "Also he spoke the same language as his customers."

The threat that Comodo was mitigating, he said, was that an RA might not be paying enough attention to validation. "What we had not done was adequately consider[ed] the new -- to us -- threat model of the RA being the subject of a targeted attack and entirely compromised."

Comodo said it's taking steps to prevent RAs -- even when their websites are completely compromised by attackers -- from being able to issue fraudulent certificates. For starters, Comodo implemented IP address restriction and two-factor authentication for all RAs. The latter should be live within two weeks, when all RAs have received their hardware tokens. "Until that process is complete Comodo will review 100% of all RA validation work before issuing any certificate," said Alden.

In addition, Comodo will stop issuing certificates to RAs from the root maintained by Mozilla. Because the certificates were subordinate to the root, Mozilla couldn't easily deactivate them when warned that they were fraudulent. Instead, Mozilla had to hard-code a fix into Firefox.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: No, you were supposed to display UNICODE characters!
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
As cyber attackers become more sophisticated and enterprise defenses become more complex, many enterprises are faced with a complicated question: what is the risk of an IT security breach? This report delivers insight on how today's enterprises evaluate the risks they face. This report also offers a look at security professionals' concerns about a wide variety of threats, including cloud security, mobile security, and the Internet of Things.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.