OpenSSL patch quashes rare HTTPS nasty, shores up crypto chops

Feet up for the many, head's down and patch for the rest.

OpenSSL maintainers have pushed a pair of patches, crushing a dangerous but uncommon bug that allows HTTPS to be unravelled while also hardening servers against downgrade attacks.

Affected servers are open to key recovery attacks only if it runs certain Digital Signature Algorithm and static Diffie-Hellman key exchange subgroups, while running OpenSSL version 1.0.2.

The high severity bug (CVE-2016-0701) revealed by Adobe engineer Antonio Sanso and which is fixed in version 1.0.2f.

Carnegie Mellon University CERT Garret Wassermann explains the crypto conundrum that will tickle many a neckbeard-owner.

OpenSSL 1.0.2 introduced the ability to generate X9.42 style parameter files as required by RFC 5114. The primes generated in this mode may be 'unsafe', enabling generation of groups containing small subgroups, which may allow for cryptographic attacks that may recover the key. OpenSSL prior to 1.0.2f did not properly check for this possibility.

Furthermore, OpenSSL prior to 1.0.2f will by default reuse this number for the life of the process. Such a number, particularly if re-used, severely weakens applications of the Diffie-Hellman protocol such as TLS, allowing an attacker in some scenarios to possibly determine the Diffie-Hellman private exponent and decrypt the underlying traffic.

It requires attackers complete multiple handshakes with OpenSSL targets that use the same private Diffie Hellman exponent.

The fix will also reject weak 768 bit Diffie-Hellman handshakes now requiring 1024 bits upping crypto chops.

The project's also addressed CVE-2015-3197, which means "A malicious client can negotiate SSLv2 ciphers that have been disabled on the server and complete SSLv2 handshakes even if all SSLv2 ciphers have been disabled, provided that the SSLv2 protocol was not also disabled via SSL_OP_NO_SSLv2."

This one's an easy fix: if you run OpenSSL 1.0.2 upgrade to 1.0.2f. OpenSSL 1.0.1 users should upgrade to 1.0.1r. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Venezuelan cardiologist charged with designing and selling ransomware
    If his surgery was as bad as his opsec, this chap has caused a lot of trouble

    The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

    A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

    The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits.

    Continue reading
  • China reveals its top five sources of online fraud
    'Brushing' tops the list, as quantity of forbidden content continue to rise

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.

    The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.

    Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.

    Continue reading
  • Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub
    Appeal petition as doomed as the Itanic chips at the heart of decade-long drama

    The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle's appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

    In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel's Itanium processors at the time.

    A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered to cough up $3 billion in damages in a jury trial, and appealed the decision all the way to the highest judges in America. Now, the Supreme Court has declined its petition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022