Feeds

Comodo admits 2 more resellers pwned in SSL cert hack

How deep does the rabbit hole go?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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about the attack: "Two further RA accounts have since been compromised and had RA privileges withdrawn.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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.