Vulnerabilities / Threats
9/20/2011
12:08 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

HTTPS Vulnerable To Crypto Attack

Security researchers have built a tool that exploits weaknesses in the SSL and TLS encryption protocol, used by millions of websites to secure communications.

The secure sockets layer (SSL) and transport layer security (TLS) encryption protocol, used by millions of websites to secure Web communications via HTTPS, is vulnerable to being decrypted by attackers.

In particular, security researchers Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong have built a tool that's capable of decrypting and obtaining the authentication tokens and cookies used in many websites' HTTPS requests. "Our exploit abuses a vulnerability present in the SSL/TLS implementation of major Web browsers at the time of writing," they said.

The duo plan to detail their findings, which they characterize as a "fast block-wise chosen-plaintext attack against SSL/TLS," on Friday at the Ekoparty Security Conference in Argentina. They said websites using SSL version 3 and TLS version 1.0 and earlier are vulnerable. Although newer versions of TLS are available--and apparently not vulnerable to this attack--most sites still use TLS 1.0.

[Do you have an effective cyber attack response strategy? See 7 Lessons: Surviving A Zero-Day Attack.]

To illustrate the vulnerability they've discovered and automatically harvest authentication tokens and cookies, the researchers said they've also built a JavaScript-based tool dubbed BEAST, for Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS. "It is worth noting that the vulnerability that BEAST exploits has been [present] since the very first version of SSL. Most people in the crypto and security community have concluded that it is non-exploitable, that's why it has been largely ignored for many years," Duong told Threatpost.

The researchers plan use BEAST during their Ekoparty presentation to decrypt PayPal authentication cookies and access a PayPal account, according to the Register.

While full details of the vulnerability haven't been publicly disclosed, browser developers don't appear to be running scared. "The researchers disclosed BEAST to browsers so I'm not going to comment in detail until public," said Google Chrome engineer Adam Langley in a Twitter post. "It's neat, but not something to worry about." Opera, however, has already released a related patch, and the researchers said they expect other browser makers to follow suit.

The HTTPS vulnerability is likely to accelerate calls for an overhaul of today's fragile SSL ecosystem. Such calls have intensified after the July 2011 exploit--not revealed publicly until last month--of Dutch certificate authority DigiNotar. As a result of that exploit, attackers were able to issue false credentials for hundreds of legitimate websites, including Gmail and Windows Update.

Interestingly, Rizzo and Duong are no strangers to vulnerability research. Rizzo is one of the founders and designers behind open source network security tool platform Netifera, while Duong is chief security officer for a large Vietnamese bank, and has led Black Hat workshops detailing practical attacks against cryptography.

Last year, notably, the pair detailed a previously unknown "padding oracle attack" (referring not to Oracle, but rather a cryptographic concept) against ASP.NET Web applications that could be used to "decrypt cookies, view states, form authentication tickets, membership password, user data, and anything else encrypted using the framework's API," they said. Exploiting the vulnerability, present in 25% of ASP Web applications, could allow attackers to access information or even compromise systems.

The vulnerability stemmed from how Microsoft implemented AES in ASP.NET. Notably, if an attacker altered the encrypted data contained in a cookie, ASP.NET returned semi-detailed error messages. After amassing enough of these, an attacker could make an educated guess about the encryption key being used.

That vulnerability disclosure led Microsoft to issue an emergency patch.

Security professionals often view compliance as a burden, but it doesn't have to be that way. In this report, we show the security team how to partner with the compliance pros. Download the report here. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JuneSanchez
50%
50%
JuneSanchez,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 1:46:55 AM
re: HTTPS Vulnerable To Crypto Attack
Is this similar to what Mike Ridpath from IOActive and Moxie spoke on at Blackhat or these new vulnerabilities? HTTPS is taking a beating!
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3409
Published: 2014-10-25
The Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) handling feature in Cisco IOS 12.2(33)SRE9a and earlier and IOS XE 3.13S and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via malformed CFM packets, aka Bug ID CSCuq93406.

CVE-2014-4620
Published: 2014-10-25
The EMC NetWorker Module for MEDITECH (aka NMMEDI) 3.0 build 87 through 90, when EMC RecoverPoint and Plink are used, stores cleartext RecoverPoint Appliance credentials in nsrmedisv.raw log files, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading these files.

CVE-2014-4623
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar 6.0.x, 6.1.x, and 7.0.x in Avamar Data Store (ADS) GEN4(S) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE), when Password Hardening before 2.0.0.4 is enabled, uses UNIX DES crypt for password hashing, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to obtain cleartext passwords via a brute-force a...

CVE-2014-4624
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar Data Store (ADS) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) 6.x and 7.0.x through 7.0.2-43 do not require authentication for Java API calls, which allows remote attackers to discover grid MCUser and GSAN passwords via a crafted call.

CVE-2014-6151
Published: 2014-10-25
CRLF injection vulnerability in IBM Tivoli Integrated Portal (TIP) 2.2.x allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via unspecified vectors.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.