Perimeter
2/8/2012
11:16 PM
Taher Elgamal
Taher Elgamal
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

RSA Weakness and e-Commerce Authentication

RSA key weakness

The recently disclosed weakness in the RSA keys found on the web created a lot of activity in the scientific and the commercial world. What does that mean to everyday e-commerce transactions and how much trust should we have in them. This particular weakness in some of the RSA keys used in a server certificate for example can enable someone to impersonate a server identity, since an attacker can compute the server’s private key used in signing and authenticating the server to the browsers. This is not a trivial weakness obviously. However, it should not be perceived as an attack on all e-commerce as advertised since the other keys that are generated properly will not have any issue and the trust in them is not affected.

An attack on all e-commerce should have the effect of enabling an attacker to impersonate any server – which is far from reality here. However, this finding does bring a very important issue in generating random numbers and in also generating RSA keys that are not “weak keys”. The software or hardware used to generate keys should be tested against known weaknesses at all times, and customers should ask vendors questions about the process they used to test their cryptographic software. Of course, using other strong cryptographic methods is also a good idea – but also if the keys and random numbers are generated correctly.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-1544
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the CERT_DestroyCertificate function in libnss3.so in Mozilla Network Security Services (NSS) 3.x, as used in Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger cer...

CVE-2014-1547
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1548
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1549
Published: 2014-07-23
The mozilla::dom::AudioBufferSourceNodeEngine::CopyFromInputBuffer function in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 does not properly allocate Web Audio buffer memory, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and applica...

CVE-2014-1550
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the MediaInputPort class in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (heap memory corruption) by leveraging incorrect Web Audio control-message ordering.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Where do information security startups come from? More important, how can I tell a good one from a flash in the pan? Learn how to separate ITSec wheat from chaff in this episode.