Feeds

Weak crypto casts shadow over ecommerce

Short, vulnerable keys

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US export restrictions and local legislation on cryptography still casts a shadow over the security of ecommerce site even years after regulations to permit the use of strong encryption.

That's according to a survey of SSL servers by Netcraft, carried out last month, which discovered 18 per cent of supposedly secure servers use potentially vulnerable key lengths.

In most European countries more than 25 per cent are still using short keys, and in France, which had laws restricting the use of cryptography until relatively recently, over 40 per cent of sites are using short keys. This compares to under 16 per cent of secure servers in North America which use weak encryption.

Since January 2000, the US has allowed companies to export any encryption product to commercial firms, individuals and other non-government end-users without a license. These regulations include exports to all countries bar exports to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria, which the US classifies as "terrorist supporting states".

Netcraft reckons export grade cryptography remains quite common outside North America partly because the relative weakness of the server's choice of cryptography is not obvious to sys admins, so there is so little pressure to make the change.

If browser developers include an indication of key length - rather than the present lock symbol displayed on all SSL sessions - this may prompt the necessary upgrades, Netcraft suggests. Admins could act before then, of course, but given how slowly people applied patches to upgrade well known flaws to Microsoft's IIS Web server software perhaps an additional incentive is needed. ®

External Links

Ccrypto law survey

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.