Feeds

Boffins crack e-commerce encryption

Poked XML-based service coughs secrets

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

German computer scientists have cracked components of an encryption system used to securely exchange data between e-commerce and banking systems.

Boffins from the Ruhr University of Bochum (RUB) have devised a technique partly based on analysing error messages returned when carefully modified cipher text is submitted to a web service. By analysing the results of a sequence of error messages it is possible to decrypt encrypted XML-based data elements, H Security reports.

The official W3C XML encryption specification is designed to allow the secure transmission of information between different e-commerce and financial systems. The attack is limited to where AES is used for encryption in the cipher-block chaining (CBC) mode; other techniques, such as using an RSA key and X.509 certificates, are not susceptible.

The cryptoboffins argue their research shows the standard is insecure and needs to be updated. The researchers, Juraj Somorovsky and Tibor Jager, plan to present their research at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ACM CCS 2011) in Chicago.

IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat Linux use the technology for various web services applications. Each has been notified by the RUB team of its findings (summarised in German here). ®

Remote control for virtualized 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

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
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.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.