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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: HTTPS

Let's Encrypt Issued A Billion Free SSL Certificates in the Last 4 Years

Let's Encrypt Issued A Billion Free SSL Certificates in the Last 4 Years
February 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Let's Encrypt, a free, automated, and open certificate signing authority (CA) from the nonprofit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), has said it's issued a billion certificates since its launch in 2015. The CA issued its first certificate in September 2015, before eventually reaching 100 million in June 2017. Since late last year, Let's Encrypt has issued at least 1.2 million certificates each day. The development comes as over 80 percent of the web page loads have begun using HTTPS worldwide , and 91 percent in the US alone. HTTPS, the default means of secure communication on the internet, comes with three benefits: authentication, integrity, and encryption. It allows HTTP requests to be transmitted over a secure encrypted channel, thus protecting users from an array of malicious activities, including site forgery and content manipulation. "Since 2017, browsers have started requiring HTTPS for more features, and they've greatly improved the way

DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains

DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains
January 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has today issued an "emergency directive" to all federal agencies ordering IT staff to audit DNS records for their respective website domains, or other agency-managed domains, within next 10 business days. The emergency security alert came in the wake of a series of recent incidents involving DNS hijacking , which security researchers with "moderate confidence" believe originated from Iran. Domain Name System (DNS) is a key function of the Internet that works as an Internet's directory where your device looks up for the server IP addresses after you enter a human-readable web address (e.g., thehackernews.com). What is DNS Hijacking Attack? DNS hijacking involves changing DNS settings of a domain, redirecting victims to an entirely different attacker-controlled server with a fake version of the websites they are trying to visit, often with an objective to steal users' data. "The attacker alter

From today, Google Chrome starts marking all non-HTTPS sites 'Not Secure'

From today, Google Chrome starts marking all non-HTTPS sites 'Not Secure'
July 24, 2018Mohit Kumar
Starting today with the release of Chrome 68, Google Chrome prominently marks all non-HTTPS websites as 'Not Secure' in its years-long effort to make the web a more secure place for Internet users. So if you are still running an insecure HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) website, many of your visitors might already be greeted with a 'Not Secure' message on their Google Chrome browser warning them that they can't trust your website to be secure. By displaying ' Not Secure ,' Google Chrome means that your connection is not secure because there is no SSL Certificate to encrypt your connection between your computer and the website's server. So, anything sent over a non-HTTPS connection is in plain text, like your password or payment card information, allowing attackers to snoop or tamper with your data. The non-https connection has been considered dangerous particularly for web pages that transfer sensitive information—like login pages and payment

New MacOS Malware, Signed With Legit Apple ID, Found Spying On HTTPS Traffic

New MacOS Malware, Signed With Legit Apple ID, Found Spying On HTTPS Traffic
April 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Many people believe that they are much less likely to be bothered by malware if they use a Mac computer, but is it really true? Unfortunately, No. According to the McAfee Labs , malware attacks on Apple's Mac computers were up 744% in 2016, and its researchers have discovered nearly 460,000 Mac malware samples, which is still just a small part of overall Mac malware out in the wild. Today, Malware Research team at CheckPoint have discovered a new piece of fully-undetectable Mac malware, which according to them, affects all versions of Mac OS X, has zero detections on VirusTotal and is "signed with a valid developer certificate (authenticated by Apple)." Dubbed DOK , the malware is being distributed via a coordinated email phishing campaign and, according to the researchers, is the first major scale malware to target macOS users. The malware has been designed to gain administrative privileges and install a new root certificate on the target system, which allows

Google becomes its own Root Certificate Authority

Google becomes its own Root Certificate Authority
January 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In an effort to expand its certificate authority capabilities and build the "foundation of a more secure web," Google has finally launched its root certificate authority. In past few years, we have seen Google taking many steps to show its strong support for sites using HTTPS, like: Giving more preference to HTTPS websites in its search rankings than others. Warning users that all HTTP pages are not secure. Starting an industry-wide initiative, Certificate Transparency − an open framework to log, audit, and monitor certificates that CAs have issued. However, Google has been relying on an intermediate Certificate Authority (Google Internet Authority G2 - GIAG2) issued by a third party, with the latest suppliers being GlobalSign and GeoTrust, which manages and deploys certificates to Google's products and services. Google announced Thursday the creation of its own certified, and independent Root Certificate Authority called Google Trust Services , allowing

Google Chrome to Label Sensitive HTTP Pages as "Not Secure"

Google Chrome to Label Sensitive HTTP Pages as "Not Secure"
September 09, 2016Mohit Kumar
Although over three months remaining, Google has planned a New Year gift for the Internet users, who're concerned about their privacy and security. Starting in January of 2017, the world's most popular web browser Chrome will begin labeling HTTP sites that transmit passwords or ask for credit card details as " Not Secure " — the first step in Google's plan to discourage the use of sites that don't use encryption. The change will take effect with the release of Chrome 56 in January 2017 and affect certain unsecured web pages that feature entry fields for sensitive data, like passwords and payment card numbers, according to a post today on the Google Security Blog . Unencrypted HTTP has been considered dangerous particularly for login pages and payment forms, as it could allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to intercept passwords, login session, cookies and credit card data as they travel across the network. In the following release, Chrome will flag

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

What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates

What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates
April 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Do you know there is a huge encryption backdoor still exists on the Internet that most people don't know about? I am talking about the traditional Digital Certificate Management System … the weakest link, which is completely based on trust, and it has already been broken several times. To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their personal data, billions of Internet users blindly rely on hundreds of Certificate Authorities (CA) around the globe. In this article I am going to explain: The structural flaw in current Digital Certificate Management system. Why Certificate Authorities (CA) have lost the Trust. How Certificate Transparency (CT) fixes issues in the SSL certificate system. How to early detect every SSL Certificates issued for your Domain, legitimate or rogue? First, you need to know Certificate Authority and its role: Certificate Authority and its Role A Certificate Authority (CA) is a third-party organization that acts as a centr

Hackers Install Free SSL Certs from Let's Encrypt On Malicious Web Sites

Hackers Install Free SSL Certs from Let's Encrypt On Malicious Web Sites
January 07, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Who else didn't see this coming? It was so obvious as I stressed earlier that the  Let's Encrypt free HTTPS certificates would not just help legitimate website operators to encrypt its users' traffic, but also help criminals to bother innocent users with malware through secure sites. Let's Encrypt allows anyone to obtain free SSL/TLS ( Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security ) certificates for their web servers that encrypt all the Internet traffic passed between a server and users. Let's Encrypt is recognized by all major browsers, including Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The organization started offering Free HTTPS certs to everyone from last month, and it is very easy for anyone to set up an HTTPS website in a few simple steps ( How to Install Free SSL Cert ). However, the most bothersome part is that Let's Encrypt free SSL certs are not only used by website owners to secure its

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

Here's How Websites Are Tracking You Online

Here's How Websites Are Tracking You Online
October 28, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Webmasters can track all your activities on the Internet – even if you have already cleared your browsing history and deleted all saved cookies. A researcher demonstrated two unpatched flaws that can be exploited to track Millions of Internet users, allowing malicious website owners: List Building: To compile a list of visited domains by users, even if they have cleared their browsing history Tracking Cookies: To tag users with a tracking cookie that will persist even after they have deleted all cookies These two Browser Fingerprinting techniques abuse HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) and Content Security Policy – new security features already built into Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and expected to make their ways to other mainstream browsers in near future. WHAT IF, The Website owners turn these Security features against You? A security researcher has proved exactly the same last weekend at Toorcon security conference in San Diego. Yan Zhu, an

Apple Kicks Out some Malicious Ad-Blocker Apps from its Online Store

Apple Kicks Out some Malicious Ad-Blocker Apps from its Online Store
October 11, 2015Khyati Jain
Apple has removed several apps from its official iOS App Store that have the ability to compromise encrypted connections between the servers and the end-users. Apple has officially said: We have removed a "few" apps from the iOS App Store that could install root certificates and allow monitoring your data. It's like- they have analyzed and admitted that they lacked in the auditing of the App Store hosted Apps. The company is also advising its users to uninstall the malicious apps from their iPhones, iPads and iPods in order to prevent themselves from monitoring, though it has yet to name the offending apps. App Store Apps Spy on Encrypted Traffic The challenge that stood before Apple was, they discovered that "few" of the Apps in the iOS App Store were capable of spying on the users by compromising SSL/TLS security solutions of their online communication. Root certificates are the fundamental part of how encrypted connections like HTT

Superfish-like Vulnerability Found in Over 12 More Apps

Superfish-like Vulnerability Found in Over 12 More Apps
February 23, 2015Swati Khandelwal
'SuperFish' advertising software recently found pre-installed on Lenovo laptops is more widespread than what we all thought. Facebook has discovered at least 12 more titles using the same HTTPS-breaking technology that gave the Superfish malware capability to evade rogue certificate. The Superfish vulnerability affected dozens of consumer-grade Lenovo laptops shipped before January 2015, exposing users to a hijacking technique by sneakily intercepting and decrypting HTTPS connections, tampering with pages and injecting advertisements. Now, it's also thought to affect parental control tools and other adware programmes. Lenovo just released an automated Superfish removal tool to ensure complete removal of Superfish and Certificates for all major browsers. But, what about others? SSL HIJACKING Superfish uses a technique known as " SSL hijacking ", appears to be a framework bought in from a third company, Komodia, according to a blog post written
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