Feeds

GlobalSign says 'isolated' webserver was hacked

Crypto key system appears safe

The essential guide to IT transformation

Web authentication authority GlobalSign, which voluntarily suspended operations last week while it investigated claims its security was breached, said it has uncovered evidence that one of its servers has been compromised.

"The breached web server has always been isolated from all other infrastructure and is used only to serve the www.globalsign.com website," the authorized issuer of secure sockets layer certificates said in an advisory published this weekend. "At present there is no further evidence of breach other than the isolated www web server. As an additional precaution, we continue to monitor all activity to all services closely."

The certificate authority went on to say that it's in the process of bringing its systems back online and expects to begin processing orders on Tuesday.

GlobalSign's notice that it was hacked comes two weeks after the discovery of a counterfeit SSL credential issued by disgraced certificate authority DigiNotar that was being used to spy on people in Iran as they visited Gmail and possibly other Google properties. Over the following week, an account holder on Pastebin.com published a file signed with the private key of the bogus Google certificate, proving he had close ties to the person or people behind the attack. The person claimed to have access to GlobalSign and three other certificate authorities, but provided no proof.

GlobalSign responded by temporarily suspending its operations while it investigated the claims. It brought in Dutch security auditor Fox-IT to assist. Fox-IT also worked with DigiNotar following its security breach.

With its admission, GlobalSign's breach becomes at least the seventh time an entity that issues SSL certificates has been hacked this year. Four resellers of Comodo have been compromised, including one that allowed the attackers to mint fraudulent credentials for GMail and six other sensitive addresses. A similar attack hit Israel-based StartSSL, but the attackers didn't succeed in securing the bogus certificates.

In March, the Pastebin account holder published a private key for the fraudulent Google certificate issued by a Comodo reseller, proving the individual also had close ties to at least one of those hacks.

Last week, Mozilla responded to the DigiNotar attack and its aftermath by requiring all certificate authorities included in the Firefox and Thunderbird programs to perform similar security audits and ensure that their systems use two-factor authentication when issuing certificates. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.