Feeds

Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released

File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

As the Heartbleed fallout continues, the good news is that code to protect against similar such attacks has been released. The bad news is that exploit code is also available.

Let's start with the latter, released by a chap who took up Cloudlare's challenge to coders in the hope someone, somewhere, would be able to use Heartbleed to extract a private SSL key from an undefended server it erected.

As we noted over the weekend, the challenge was met. The code for the 7th-fastest “solution” to the challenge is now available here.

The author apologises for the inelegance of the Python code he spent a day working on. Cloudflare says the winner took just nine hours to crack the server and run off with the SSL certificate.

The availability of that code means world+dog can run it against servers of their choice and see what's on offer, which is just great.

Happily, help is also at hand. Akamai has published this patch to OpenSSL it says has the following qualities:

“It [the patch] adds a 'secure arena' that is used to store RSA private keys. This arena is mmap'd, with guard pages before and after so pointer over- and under-runs won't wander into it. It's also locked into memory so it doesn't appear on disk, and when possible it's also kept out of core files. This patch is a variant of what we've been using to help protect customer keys for a decade.”

Phew! Nice to know that's out there. But Akamai warns it is “more of a proof of concept than something that you want to put directly into production.” But the company says it will happily work with others who think it can be improved. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
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
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
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
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.