Feeds

Boffins crack e-commerce encryption

Poked XML-based service coughs secrets

Seven Steps to Software Security

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). ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.