Feeds

SSL BEASTie boys develop follow-up 'CRIME' web attack

Ill Communication

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The security researchers who developed the infamous BEAST attack that broke SSL/TLS encryption are cooking up a new assault on the same crucial protocols.

Online shops, banks and millions of other websites rely on SSL/TLS to encrypt sensitive information sent by punters from their web browsers. The new attack is capable of intercepting these HTTPS connections and hijacking them.

Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong are due to present their work, dubbed CRIME, at the Ekoparty Security Conference in Argentina this month. The CRIME attack revolves around security shortcomings in TLS, but details are being withheld ahead of the presentation. The researchers warn that all versions of TLS/SSL are at risk – including TLS 1.2 which was resistant to their earlier BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) technique.

The CRIME vulnerability involves exploiting cryptographic weaknesses present in the protocol. The information leaked provides enough clues to decrypt a user's supposedly protected cookies, allowing attackers to pose as their victims and hijack secure connections to websites.

"By running JavaScript code in the browser of the victim and sniffing HTTPS traffic, we can decrypt session cookies," Rizzo told Threatpost. "We don't need to use any browser plugin and we use JavaScript to make the attack faster, but in theory we could do it with static HTML."

Last year's BEAST attack was mitigated by reconfiguring web servers to use the RC4 cipher-suite rather than AES. CRIME enables miscreants to run in man-in-the-middle-style attacks and is not dependant on cipher-suites.

So far, Chrome and Firefox are confirmed to be vulnerable to CRIME, but developers at Google and Mozilla have been given a heads up on the problem and are likely to have patches available within a few weeks. Duong, who works as an information security engineer at Google, also worked with Rizzo to develop an ASP.NET "padding oracle" exploit, forcing Microsoft to rush out an emergency security patch for the popular web framework. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.