Feeds

Comodo admits 2 more resellers pwned in SSL cert hack

How deep does the rabbit hole go?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comodo has admitted a further two registration authorities tied to the digital certificates firm were hit by a high-profile forged digital certificate attack earlier this month.

No forged certificates were issued as a result of the assault on victims two and three of the attack, but confirmation that multiple resellers in the Comodo community were compromised is bound to renew questions about the trust model applied by the firm.

Comodo has previously admitted that the compromise of one of its partners in southern Europe on 15 March allowed a hacker to generate bogus SSL certificates for Skype, Yahoo, Windows Live, mail.google.com and addons.mozilla.org. These certificates were revoked hours after they were issued, but the incident only became public a week later after browser developers including Microsoft and Mozilla had published updates. The certificates create a means to mount convincing man-in-the-middle or phishing attacks.

Earlier this week an Iranian hacker claimed responsibility for the assault, claiming that he acted alone and naming GlobalTrust.it and InstantSSL.it as the targets of his assault. He published fragments of digital certificate programming interfaces on Pastebin to substantiate his claims. The presumed hacker also posted the forged certificate for Mozilla that he created for himself, as well as the associated private key for this certificates.

The miscreant also published what he claimed were tables from files on Comodo's database in a post on Tuesday, as further proof of his self-described elite skills against those who doubted his initial claims. He called on Comodo to come clean about the hack, the exact motives for which remain more than a little unclear.

Comodo has now discovered that two more of its registration authorities (also unnamed) were hit by the same attack. Robin Alden, CTO of Comodo, stated in a post to mozilla.dev.security.policy about the attack: "Two further RA accounts have since been compromised and had RA privileges withdrawn. No further mis-issued certificates have resulted from those compromises."

Alden said Comodo was in the process of rolling out two-factor authentication products to its resellers (registration authorities), as a safeguard against future attacks. this process is likely to take around two weeks. In the meantime Comodo has promised to review validation work by its resellers before issuing certificates, rather than trusting the whole process to its resellers.

Responding to criticism from Mozilla that Comodo should not have allowed its RAs resellers to issue digital certificates directly from the root, a practice that invalidated possible countermeasures to the attack, Comodo said it was changing its business practices to move away from this model. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
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.