Feeds

Boffins crack e-commerce encryption

Poked XML-based service coughs secrets

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
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.