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The recently discovered Logjam encryption flaw proves that governments need to aid, not hinder, businesses' efforts to encrypt data, according to experts in the white hat community. Logjam is an encryption flaw that was uncovered on Wednesday by researchers at Inria Nancy-Grand Est, Inria Paris-Rocquencourt, Microsoft Research and the Johns Hopkins, Michigan and Pennsylvania universities. Its discovery sent ripples through the security community as in theory it leaves tens of thousands of web and mail servers open to man-in-the-middle attacks. CipherCloud chief trust officer Bob West said that Logjam should act as a cautionary tale to legislators considering weakening companies' ability to encrypt data. "Logjam is a cautionary tale for our lawmakers and leaders who are under pressure by government groups to weaken encryption," he said. "Diluting the strength of encryption for one group creates a vulnerability that can be exploited by any group. Human rights, privacy and the resilience of our economy will be the casualties if back doors are created in encryption solutions." Venafi vice president of security strategy Kevin Bocek agreed, arguing that Logjam proves that weakening encryption will aid cyber criminals. "With more sites using SSL/TLS keys and certificates, the target is getting bigger for the bad guys," he said. "The [bad guys'] interest in intercepting encrypted traffic, spoofing trusted sites, or hiding in encryption is only growing, and many out there predict that a crypto-apocalypse is on the horizon." Logjam's discovery follows widespread concerns about the UK government's intentions concerning encryption. The government indicated plans to force firms to make encrypted data accessible to law enforcement in its election manifesto. At a technical level, Logjam is a flaw in the Diffie-Hellman key exchange cryptographic algorithm used while creating encrypted HTTPS, SSH, IPsec, SMTPS and TLS connections. "We have uncovered several weaknesses in how Diffie-Hellman key exchange has been deployed," read the researchers' threat advisory. "The Logjam attack allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to downgrade vulnerable TLS connections to 512-bit export-grade cryptography. This allows the attacker to read and modify any data passed over the connection." The researchers added that the vulnerability is similar to the Freak and Poodle flaws and "affects any server that supports DHE_EXPORT ciphers and all modern web browsers". The advisory said that Logjam renders 8.4 percent of the top one million web domains open to exploitation, but warned that the flaw's reach is significantly higher. Freak is a cross-platform flaw in SSL/TLS protocols that could be exploited to intercept and decrypt HTTPS connections between vulnerable clients and servers. It was uncovered in March. Poodle is a flaw in SSL version 3.0 which could leave users' web data open to attack. It was uncovered by researchers at Google in October 2014. The researchers said that the flaw could be used to intercept data passing between VPN servers, and is consistent with the NSA-led attacks described in leaked PRISM documents. "We carried out this computation against the most common 512-bit prime used for TLS and demonstrated that the Logjam attack can be used to downgrade connections to 80 percent of TLS servers supporting DHE_EXPORT," read the paper. "We further estimate that an academic team can break a 768-bit prime, and that a nation-state can break a 1,024-bit prime. Breaking the most common 1,024-bit prime used by web servers would allow passive eavesdropping on connections to 18 percent of the top one million HTTPS domains. "A close reading of published NSA leaks shows that the agency's attacks on VPNs are consistent with having achieved such a break," the researchers said. News that the NSA's specialist Office of Target Pursuit maintains a team of engineers dedicated to cracking the encrypted traffic of VPNs broke in December 2014. However, despite the seriousness of the Logjam flaw, experts have pointed out Logjam is more significant as a cautionary tale than game changing vulnerability. Rapid7 engineering manager Tod Beardsley explained that the high degree of sophistication required to mount a Logjam attack makes it unlikely that it will be widely targeted. "The only two groups really in a position to take advantage of this vulnerability are criminals on coffee shop WiFi networks, and state actors who already control a huge chunk of the local internet," he said. LogRhythm vice president Ross Brewer agreed, pointing out that patches for the flaw are already being rolled out. "The fact that Logjam can only be exploited when hackers and targets are on the same network, as well as patches being imminent, means that hype around it is likely to be a bit of a storm in a teacup," he said. "Organisations should, however, use flaws like this as an excuse to give themselves a security health check." The white hat community is one of many calling for an end to governments rethink their surveillance strategies. Over 140 big name companies sent a letter to US president Barack Obama on Tuesday urging him to cease the government's war on encryption. Source
Today's tale of apocalyptic internet near-misses comes from software developer Kamil Hismatullin, who discovered a security flaw in YouTube that allowed him to delete any video he wanted—or all of them, if he so desired. Fortunately, he did not so desire (although he apparently had some thoughts about doing a number on Justin Bieber's channel), and instead he reported the bug to Google and collected a $5000 reward. The discovery stemmed from Google's launch of Vulnerability Research Grants in January, through which it offers monetary grants to "top performing, frequent vulnerability researchers" in exchange for research into potential weaknesses of specific applications. The idea is to provide an incentive to researchers to find and report bugs and security flaws, so Google can fix them as quickly as possible. In February, Hismatullin was selected for a $1337 grant, and opted to dig into YouTube Creator Studio. After six or seven hours of research, he "unexpectedly discovered a logical bug that let me delete any video on YouTube with just one following request." His explanation of the flaw goes over my head, but it seems like it was fairly simple to perform. He also posted a video (on YouTube, amusingly) showing the exploit in action. "Although it was an early Saturday's morning in SF when I reported issue, Google sec team replied very fast, since this vuln could create utter havoc in a matter of minutes in the bad hands who can used this vulnerability to extort people or simply disrupt YouTube by deleting massive amounts of videos in a very short period of time," he wrote. "It was fixed in several hours, Google rewarded me $5k and luckily no Bieber videos were harmed :D" A YouTube representative has confirmed that Hismatullin's report is legitimate. And that, folks, is what we call a close one. Imagine if the world had lost such treasures as ? source PS: ce ziceti? se merita 5K pentru un bug care putea sa ii bage "teoretic" in faliment?(Putin probabil zic eu, si-ar fi dat seama repede)
Two critical bugs in the commonly used Apache ActiveMQ open source messaging and Integration Patterns server are leaving businesses open to denial-of-service (DoS) and brute force cyber attacks. Researchers at MWR InfoSecurity Labs reported identifying the bugs, warning they affect Apache ActiveMQ versions 5.0.0 to 5.10.0 and Apache ActiveMQ Apollo versions 1.0 to 1.7. The flaws reportedly stem from the way Apache ActiveMQ performs Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) authentication. "A vulnerability was identified in ActiveMQ in the way it handles content-based subscriptions, which allows an adversary to trigger processing of XML external entities (XXE)," read the advisory. "Apache ActiveMQ Apollo, which is another MQ implementation built for reliability and performance and originally based on ActiveMQ, was also found to be affected by this vulnerability." The researchers added the flaws are dangerous as they could be exploited for a variety of purposes. "In order to successfully exploit this vulnerability, an attacker has to act on behalf of both a publisher and a consumer," read the advisory. "An attacker who is able to push and pull from a message queue can use this flaw to perform DTD-based DoS attacks, server-side request forgery or read local files, accessible to the user running the MQ broker, from the server." It is currently unclear whether hackers are actively exploiting the flaw. MWE InfoSecurity had not responded to V3's request for comment at the time of publishing. The flaw is dangerous as Apache ActiveMQ is a commonly used open source message broker service. Written in Java, Apache ActiveMQ is designed to facilitate communications between multiple clients or servers. The news follows the discovery of several critical flaws affecting other commonly used open source tools and services. Researchers reported uncovering the notorious Heartbleed flaw in April 2014. Heartbleed is a flaw in the OpenSSL implementation of the Transport Layer Security protocol used by open source web servers such as Apache and Nginx, which host around 66 percent of all sites. In a recent interview with V3, Maarten Ectors, Canonical's vice president of next-generation networks and proximity cloud, argued the nature of open source software development means further Heartbleed-level flaws will be discovered in the very near future. Source
A new SSL/TLS vulnerability has been discovered that makes it possible to decrypt the HTTPS encryption protocols used between websites and browsers on Apple and Android devices. The flaw has been dubbed Freak (Factoring attack on RSA-Export Keys) and information on the specifically created freakattack.com website explains that it works by forcing a mobile device browser to use an older, breakable encryption standard. “The vulnerability allows attackers to intercept HTTPS connections between vulnerable clients and servers and force them to use ‘export-grade’ cryptography, which can then be decrypted or altered,” it said. “Vulnerable clients include many Google and Apple devices (which use unpatched OpenSSL), a large number of embedded systems, and many other software products that use TLS behind the scenes without disabling the vulnerable cryptographic suites.” The flaw was uncovered by a team of researchers at SmackTLS.com, who explained that the problem exists because of former US government policy concerning encryption technologies. “This attack targets a class of deliberately weak export cipher suites. As the name implies, this class of algorithms has been introduced under the pressure of US governments agencies to ensure that the National Security Agency would be able to decrypt all foreign encrypted communication, while stronger algorithms were banned from export as they were classified as weapons of war.” This means that attackers can force a server into deliberately using an encryption key that can be broken in about 12 hours. “Thus, if a server is willing to negotiate an export cipher suite, a man-in-the-middle [attack] may trick a browser (which normally doesn't allow it) to use a weak export key,” the team explained. Numerous high-profile websites are affected by the flaw, such as americanexpress.com, groupon.com and whitehouse.gov. Overall, almost 10 percent of the Alexa top million websites could be affected. V3 contacted Apple and Google for comment on the flaw but had received no reply at the time of publication. F-Secure researcher Sean Sullivan told V3 that the discovery underlined the risks of trying to control technology like encryption, something that David Cameron has recently made noises about in the UK. “In the 1990s there was this idea that they could control encryption and code as if it was a tangible thing and ban its export. Here we are 20 years later and you can see how that ideal has backfired,” he said. “Cameron is making this same point today, but our reliance on encryption is only increasing and, if you try to introduce some ‘weaker’ standards that you want to control, it will come back to haunt you.” Sullivan added that the risk to web users from the Freak flaw is more theoretical than anything else, as an attacker would need to compromise a website's server and then force a device to accept the older standard. Nevertheless, the incident demonstrates the risks posed by web browsers and the unintended consequences of trying to create two-tier technology systems. Source