New hack on Comodo reseller exposes private data

And then there were four


Yet another official reseller of SSL certificate authority Comodo has suffered a security breach that allowed attackers to gain unauthorized access to data.

Brazil-based ComodoBR is at least the fourth Comodo partner to be compromised this year. In March, the servers of a separate registration authority were hacked by attackers who used their access to forge counterfeit certificates signed with Comodo's root signing key. Comodo admitted that two more of its resellers were hit in similar attacks, although no keys were issued.

Comodo has so far declined to name the resellers.

The SQL-injection attack on ComodoBR exploited vulnerabilities in the company's web applications that allowed the hackers to pass database commands to the website's backend server. The attackers posted two data files that appeared to show information related to certificate signing requests, in addition to email addresses, user IDs, and password information for a limited number of employees.

Comodo president and CEO, Melih Abdulhayoglu, said Comodo systems were never compromised. He also said no certificates were issued as a result of the breach, and that the reseller had no access to Comodo databases.

“So as a summary: its an SQL attack (fairly common) on a company in Brazil who sells some of our products.” he wrote in an email. “Nothing to report really.”

The attack in March, which hit an unnamed Comodo reseller in Southern Europe, allowed the attackers to register fraudulent certificates for high-traffic websites including Google Mail, www.google.com, login.yahoo.com, login.skype.com, addons.mozilla.com, and Microsoft's login.live.com. Until browser makers issued security updates, the bogus certificates could have allowed hackers with the capability of waging man-in-the-middle attacks to present valid digital certificates vouching for the authenticity of the sites they were spoofing.

Comodo responded by revoking the signing privileges of all its resellers and implementing a two-factor authentication system for them to use.

Abdulhayoglu said all partners reselling Comodo certificates are required to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. He didn't name any other security requirements registration authorities had to comply with. ®


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