Feeds

Did Google certificate forgers hit hundreds more sites?

Google Chrome blacklists 247 credentials

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
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.