The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: HTTPS encryption

NordVPN Breach FAQ – What Happened and What's At Stake?

NordVPN Breach FAQ – What Happened and What's At Stake?
October 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
NordVPN, one of the most popular and widely used VPN services out there, yesterday disclosed details of a security incident that apparently compromised one of its thousands of servers based in Finland. Earlier this week, a security researcher on Twitter disclosed that "NordVPN was compromised at some point," alleging that unknown attackers stole private encryption keys used to protect VPN users traffic routed through the compromised server. In response to this, NordVPN published a blog post detailing about the security incident, and here we have summarized the whole incident for our readers to let you quickly understand what exactly happened, what's at stake, and what you should do next. Some of the information mentioned below also contains information The Hacker News obtained via an email interview with NordVPN. What has been compromised? — NordVPN has thousands of servers across the world hosted with third-party data centers. One such server hosted with a

Google, Mozilla, Apple Block Kazakhstan's Root CA Certificate to Prevent Spying

Google, Mozilla, Apple Block Kazakhstan's Root CA Certificate to Prevent Spying
August 21, 2019Mohit Kumar
In a move to protect its users based in Kazakhstan from government surveillance, Google, Apple and Mozilla finally today came forward and blocked Kazakhstan's government-issued root CA certificate within their respective web browsing software. Starting today, Chrome, Safari and Firefox users in Kazakhstan will see an error message stating that the " Qaznet Trust Network " certificate should not be trusted when attempting to access a website that responds with the government-issued certificate. As The Hacker News reported last month , all major Kazakh Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are forcing their customers into installing a government-issued root certificate on their devices in order to regain access to their Internet services. The root certificate in question, labeled as " trusted certificate " or "national security certificate," if installed, allows ISPs to intercept, monitor, and decrypt users' encrypted HTTPS and TLS connections,

8 New HTTP/2 Implementation Flaws Expose Websites to DoS Attacks

8 New HTTP/2 Implementation Flaws Expose Websites to DoS Attacks
August 14, 2019Mohit Kumar
Various implementations of HTTP/2 , the latest version of the HTTP network protocol, have been found vulnerable to multiple security vulnerabilities affecting the most popular web server software, including Apache, Microsoft's IIS, and NGINX. Launched in May 2015, HTTP/2 has been designed for better security and improved online experience by speeding up page loads. Today, over hundreds of millions of websites, or some 40 percent of all the sites on the Internet, are running using HTTP/2 protocol. A total of eight high-severity HTTP/2 vulnerabilities , seven discovered by Jonathan Looney of Netflix and one by Piotr Sikora of Google, exist due to resource exhaustion when handling malicious input, allowing a client to overload server's queue management code. The vulnerabilities can be exploited to launch Denial of Service (DoS) attacks against millions of online services and websites that are running on a web server with the vulnerable implementation of HTTP/2 , knocking

Kazakhstan Begins Intercepting HTTPS Internet Traffic Of All Citizens Forcefully

Kazakhstan Begins Intercepting HTTPS Internet Traffic Of All Citizens Forcefully
July 19, 2019Mohit Kumar
If you are in Kazakhstan and unable to access the Internet service without installing a certificate, you're not alone. The Kazakhstan government has once again issued an advisory to all major local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) asking them to make it mandatory for all their customers to install government-issued root certificates on their devices in order to regain access to the Internet services. The root certificate in question, labeled as " trusted certificate " or " national security certificate ," if installed, allows ISPs to intercept and monitor users' encrypted HTTPS and TLS connections, helping the government spy on its citizens and censor content. In other words, the government is essentially launching a "man in the middle" attack on every resident of the country. But how installing a "root certificate" allow ISPs to decrypt HTTPS connection? For those unaware, your device and web browsers automatically trust digi

Firefox to Automatically Trust OS-Installed CA Certificates to Prevent TLS Errors

Firefox to Automatically Trust OS-Installed CA Certificates to Prevent TLS Errors
July 02, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mozilla has finally introduced a mechanism to let Firefox browser automatically fix certain TLS errors, often triggered when antivirus software installed on a system tries to intercept secure HTTPS connections. Most Antivirus software offers web security feature that intercepts encrypted HTTPS connections to monitor the content for malicious web pages before it reaches the web browser. To achieve this, security software replaces websites' TLS certificates with their own digital certificates issued by any trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs). Since Mozilla only trusts those CAs that are listed in its own root store, the antivirus products relying on other trusted CAs provided by the operating system (OS) are not allowed to intercept HTTPS connections on Firefox. In recent months, this limitation continually crashed HTTPS pages for many Firefox users showing them SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER, MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_MITM_DETECTED or ERROR_SELF_SIGNED_CERT error codes when their an

Linux TCP Flaw allows Hackers to Hijack Internet Traffic and Inject Malware Remotely

Linux TCP Flaw allows Hackers to Hijack Internet Traffic and Inject Malware Remotely
August 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you are using the Internet, there are the possibilities that you are open to attack. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) implementation in all Linux systems deployed since 2012 ( version 3.6 and above of the Linux kernel ) poses a serious threat to Internet users, whether or not they use Linux directly. This issue is troubling because Linux is used widely across the Internet, from web servers to Android smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Researchers have uncovered a serious Internet flaw, which if exploited, could allow attackers to terminate or inject malware into unencrypted communication between any two vulnerable machines on the Internet. The vulnerability could also be used to forcefully terminate HTTPS encrypted connections and downgrade the privacy of secure connections, as well as also threatens anonymity of Tor users by routing them to certain malicious relays. The flaw actually resides in the design and implementation of the Request for Comments: 5961 ( RF

4 Flaws hit HTTP/2 Protocol that could allow Hackers to Disrupt Servers

4 Flaws hit HTTP/2 Protocol that could allow Hackers to Disrupt Servers
August 03, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you think that the HTTP/2 protocol is more secure than the standard HTTP ( Hypertext Transfer Protocol ), then you might be wrong, as it took researchers just four months to discover four flaws in the HTTP/2 protocol. HTTP/2 was launched properly just in May last year after Google bundled its SPDY project into HTTP/2 in February in an effort to speed up the loading of web pages as well as the browsing experience of the online users. Now, security researchers from data center security vendor Imperva today at Black Hat conference revealed details on at least four high-profile vulnerabilities in HTTP/2 – a major revision of the HTTP network protocol that the today's web is based on. The vulnerabilities allow attackers to slow web servers by flooding them with innocent looking messages that carry a payload of gigabytes of data, putting the servers into infinite loops and even causing them to crash. The HTTP/2 protocol can be divided into three layers: The transmissio

High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic
May 05, 2016Mohit Kumar
OpenSSL has released a series of patches against six vulnerabilities, including a pair of high-severity flaws that could allow attackers to execute malicious code on a web server as well as decrypt HTTPS traffic . OpenSSL is an open-source cryptographic library that is the most widely being used by a significant portion of the Internet services; to cryptographically protect their sensitive Web and e-mail traffic using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. One of the high-severity flaws, CVE-2016-2107 , allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to initiate a " Padding Oracle Attack " that can decrypt HTTPS traffic if the connection uses AES-CBC cipher and the server supports AES-NI. A Padding Oracle flaw weakens the encryption protection by allowing attackers to repeatedly request plaintext data about an encrypted payload content. The Padding Oracle flaw ( exploit code ) was discovered by Juraj Somorovsky using his own developed tool c

More than 1 Million Websites Install Free SSL Certificate (and Counting...)

More than 1 Million Websites Install Free SSL Certificate (and Counting...)
March 08, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Let's Encrypt has achieved another big milestone by issuing 1 million free Transport Layer Security (TLS) SSL Certificates to webmasters who wish to secure the communications between their users and domains. Let's Encrypt   – operated by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) – is an absolutely free, and open source certificate authority recognized by all major browsers , including Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is just three months and five days since Let's Encrypt launched a beta version of the service, and the group has crossed 1 Million certificates in use across the Web, Let's Encrypt said in a blog post on Tuesday. Let's Encrypt allows anyone to obtain Free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates for their web servers. Backed by companies including EFF, Akamai and Mozilla, the Let's Encrypt project started offering Free HTTPS certs to everyone fro

Kazakhstan makes it Mandatory for its Citizens to Install Internet Backdoor

Kazakhstan makes it Mandatory for its Citizens to Install Internet Backdoor
December 04, 2015Mohit Kumar
Next in the queue, Kazakhstan is also planning to Spy on encrypted Internet Traffic of its citizens, but in the most shameless way. Unlike other spying nations that are themselves capable of spying on their citizens, Kazakhstan will force every internet user in the country to install bogus security certs on their PCs and mobile devices, allowing the 'Dictator' Government to: Intercept users' Internet traffic to any Secure website, i.e. Man-in-the-Middle  Attack Access everything from user's web browsing history to usernames and passwords to secure and HTTPS-encrypted traffic This Program will seriously restrict Citizens' Freedom of Speech and Expression. What the F… is "National Internet Security Certificate"? On Monday, the nation's largest Internet service provider Kazakhtelecom JSC published a notice, which said: Citizens are "obliged" to install a so-called " National Internet Security Certificate "

How to Install Let's Encrypt Free SSL Certificate On Your Website

How to Install Let's Encrypt Free SSL Certificate On Your Website
December 03, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Another Big Milestone – Let's Encrypt is now offering Free HTTPS certificates to everyone. Let's Encrypt has opened to the public, allowing anyone to obtain Free SSL/TLS ( Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security ) certificates for their web servers and to set up HTTPS websites in a few simple steps ( mentioned below ). Let's Encrypt – an initiative run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) – is a new, free, and open certificate authority recognized by all major browsers , including Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The Free SSL Certification Authority is now in public beta after testing a trial among a select group of volunteers. Why Let's Encrypt? Let's Encrypt promised to offer a certificate authority (CA) which is: Free – no charge for HTTPS certs. Automatic – the installation, configuration as well as the renewal of the certificates do not require any administrator a

Patent Troll — 66 Big Companies Sued For Using HTTPS Encryption

Patent Troll — 66 Big Companies Sued For Using HTTPS Encryption
December 02, 2015Mohit Kumar
Are you Using HTTPS on your Website to securely encrypt traffic? Well, we'll see you in the court. At least, that's what CryptoPeak is saying to all big brands that utilize HTTPS on their web servers. BIG Brands Sued for Using HTTPS: 'Patent Troll' Texas-based company CryptoPeak Solutions LLC has filed 66 lawsuits against many big businesses in the US, claiming they have illegally used its patented encryption method – Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) – on their HTTPS websites. Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is a key exchange algorithm that is most widely used on websites secured with Transport Layer Security (TLS) to determine what symmetric keys are used during a session. Encryption is on the rise after Edward Snowden made the world aware of government's global surveillance programs. Today, many big tech and online services are using encryption to: Protect the data transmitted to/from visitor to domain Lessen the risk of hacking

Millions of IoT Devices Using Same Hard-Coded CRYPTO Keys

Millions of IoT Devices Using Same Hard-Coded CRYPTO Keys
November 27, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Millions of embedded devices, including home routers, modems, IP cameras, VoIP phones, are shareing the same hard-coded SSH (Secure Shell) cryptographic keys or HTTPS (HTTP Secure) server certificates that expose them to various types of malicious attacks. A new analysis by IT security consultancy SEC Consult shows that the lazy manufacturers of the Internet of Things (IoTs) and Home Routers are reusing the same set of hard-coded cryptographic keys, leaving devices open to Hijacking. In simple words, this means that if you are able to access one device remotely, you can possibly log into hundreds of thousands of other devices – including the devices from different manufacturers. Re-Using Same Encryption Keys In its survey of IoT devices , the company studied 4,000 embedded devices from 70 different hardware vendors, ranging from simple home routers to Internet gateway servers, and discovered that… …over 580 unique private cryptographic keys for SSH and HTTPS a

Exploiting Browser Cookies to Bypass HTTPS and Steal Private Information

Exploiting Browser Cookies to Bypass HTTPS and Steal Private Information
September 25, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A newly discovered critical flaw in the implementation of web cookies by major browsers could open secured (HTTPS) browsing to Man-in-the-middle attacks . The US Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has revealed that all the main browser vendors have improperly implemented the RFC 6265 Standard, also referred to as " Browser Cookies ," allowing… …remote attackers to bypass secure HTTPS protocol and reveal confidential private session data. Cookies are small pieces of data sent from web sites to web browsers, which contains various information used to identify users, or store any information related to that particular website. HTTPS Cookie Injection Vulnerability Whenever a website ( you have visited ) wants to set a cookie in your browser, it passes a header named " Set-Cookie " with the parameter name, its value and some options, including cookie expiration time and domain name ( for which it is valid ). It is also important to note that HTTP

Let's Encrypt Project issues its First Free SSL/TLS Certificate

Let's Encrypt Project issues its First Free SSL/TLS Certificate
September 16, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Last fall the non-profit foundation EFF ( Electronic Frontier Foundation ) launched an initiative called Let's Encrypt that aimed at providing Free Digital Cryptographic Certificates (TLS) to any website that needs them. Today, Let's Encrypt – a free automated Open-source Certificate Authority (CA) – has signed its first certificate, hitting what it calls a major milestone to encrypt all of the Web. Let's Encrypt enables any Internet site to protect its users with free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates that encrypt all the data passed between a website and users. Not just free, but the initiative also makes HTTPS implementation easier for any website or online shopping site owner in order to ensure the security of their customers' data. "Forget about hours (or sometimes days) of muddling through complicated programming to set up encryption on a website, or yearly fees," EFF explains . "Let's Encr

OpenSSL to Patch Undisclosed High Severity Vulnerability this Thursday

OpenSSL to Patch Undisclosed High Severity Vulnerability this Thursday
July 07, 2015Mohit Kumar
Attention Please! System Administrator and anyone relying on OpenSSL should be prepared to switch to a new version of the open-source crypto library that will be released this Thursday 9th July. OpenSSL is a widely used open-source software library that provides encrypted Internet connections using SSL/TLS for majority of websites, as well as other secure services. The new versions of OpenSSL crypto library, versions 1.0.2d and 1.0.1p , address a single security vulnerability classified as "high severity," the OpenSSL Project Team announced on Monday. There isn't more details about the mystery security vulnerability available yet, except for the fact that the security vulnerability doesn't affect the 1.0.0 or 0.9.8 series. "The OpenSSL project team would like to announce the forthcoming release of OpenSSL versions 1.0.2d and 1.0.1p," developer Mark J Cox announced in a mailing list note published yesterday. "These releases will be
Exclusive Offers

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.