Feeds

Did Google certificate forgers hit hundreds more sites?

Google Chrome blacklists 247 credentials

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The hack attack that minted a fraudulent authentication credential for Google.com may have affected hundreds of other websites, a review of source code for Google's Chromium browser suggests.

A side-by-side review comparing code contained in an upcoming version of Chrome increased the number of secure sockets layer certificates hardcoded in the browser's blacklist by 247. A comment accompanying the additions said: “Bad DigiNotar leaf certificates for non-Google sites.”

As previously reported, Microsoft, Google, Firefox, and other software makers announced updates on Monday to prevent their products from trusting SSL certificates issued by DigiNotar. They took the unprecedented move following Monday's discovery that the Netherlands-based certificate authority had issued a bogus certificate for Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google services that was being used to target people in Iran.

In a press release that raised new concerns, DigiNotar said on Tuesday that a July 19 attack on its certificate authority system resulted in forgeries being issued for “a number of domains” including Google's, but declined to specify the names or give a precise number. In a later interview with IDG News, a DigiNotar spokesman put the figure at “several dozen.”

The vacuum of information from DigiNotar has left researchers scrambling to figure out exactly how many sites might be affected. Exhibit A is the Chrome differential showing the number of “static const unsigned kNumSerials” equalling 257, compared to 10 in the previous version. The constant variable refers to the number of serial numbers enumerated in a list of blacklisted certificates.

Exhibit B is this list, compiled from DigiNotar's certificate revocation list. It shows that a little more than 100 certificates have been cancelled by the certificate authority since June.

It's impossible to say if all of Monday's changes to Chrome's “static const unsigned kNumSerials” involved certificates for separate web addresses. A Google spokesman didn't respond to an email asking for an explanation of the changes.

But the increase in serial numbers, combined with the comments “seem pretty indicative” that Chrome has purged hundreds of non-Google certificates issued by DigiNotar, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?