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Researchers Demonstrated How NSA Broke Trillions of Encrypted Connections

Researchers Demonstrated How NSA Broke Trillions of Encrypted Connections

October 12, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In the year 2014, we came to know about the NSA's ability to break Trillions of encrypted connections by exploiting common implementations of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm – thanks to classified documents leaked by ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden. At that time, computer scientists and senior cryptographers had presented the most plausible theory: Only a few prime numbers were commonly used by 92 percent of the top 1 Million Alexa HTTPS domains that might have fit well within the NSA's $11 Billion-per-year budget dedicated to "groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities." And now, researchers from University of Pennsylvania, INRIA, CNRS and Université de Lorraine have practically proved how the NSA broke the most widespread encryption used on the Internet. Diffie-Hellman key exchange (DHE) algorithm is a standard means of exchanging cryptographic keys over untrusted channels, which allows protocols such as HTTPS, SSH, VPN, SMTPS and IPsec to negotia
How-to — Stealing Decryption Key from Air-Gapped Computer in Another Room

How-to — Stealing Decryption Key from Air-Gapped Computer in Another Room

February 16, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Air-gapped computers that are believed to be the most secure computers on the planet have become a regular target for researchers in recent years. Air-gap computers are one that are isolated from the Internet or any other computers that are connected to the Internet or external network, so hackers can’t remotely access their contents. But you need to think again before calling them ' Safe .' A team of security researchers from Tel Aviv University and Technion have discovered a new method to steal sensitive data from a target air-gapped computer located in another room. The team is the same group of researchers who had experimented a number of different methods to extract data from a computer. Last year, the team demonstrated how to extract secret decryption keys from computers using just a radio receiver and a piece of pita bread. In 2014, the team devised a special digitizer wristband that had the ability to extract the cryptographic key used to secu
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
TrueCrypt Security Audit Concludes No NSA Backdoor

TrueCrypt Security Audit Concludes No NSA Backdoor

April 03, 2015Swati Khandelwal
The Security audit of TrueCrypt disk-encryption software has been completed, with no evidence of any critical design vulnerabilities or deliberate backdoors in its code. TrueCrypt -- one of the world's most-used open source file encryption software used by Millions of privacy and security enthusiasts -- is being audited from past two years by a team of security researchers to assess if it could be easily exploited and cracked. Hopefully, it has cleared the second phase of the audit. TrueCrypt is a free, open-source and cross-platform encryption program available for Windows, OSX and Linux that can be used to encrypt individual folders or encrypt entire hard drive partitions including the system partition. NO NSA BACKDOORS Security Auditors and Cryptography Experts at NCC took an initiative to perform a public information security audit of TrueCrypt in response to the concerns that National Security Agency (NSA) may have tampered with it, according to a leaked cl
Popular Encryption Software TrueCrypt Shuts Down Mysteriously

Popular Encryption Software TrueCrypt Shuts Down Mysteriously

May 29, 2014Mohit Kumar
TrueCrypt , the popular and reputed open source file and disk encryption Software for Windows, OSX and Linux, has abruptly closed down Wednesday recommending its users to use Microsoft's Bitlocker. TrueCrypt is a free, open-source and cross-platform encryption program, thereby one of the world's most-used encryption tool, trusted by tens of millions of users and recommended by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden . TRUECRYPT IS NOT SECURE On Wednesday afternoon, the users of TrueCrypt encryption tool redirected to the project's official SourceForge-hosted page that displays a mysterious security warning message that the popular encryption tool has been discontinued and that users should switch to an alternative. The official website for the TrueCrypt software warns the user that the open source encryption software is no longer secure and informs that the development of the software has been terminated. At the top of TrueCrypt page on SourceForge display
Cross-VM Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys

Cross-VM Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys

November 05, 2012Mohit Kumar
A group of researchers has developed a side-channel attack targeting virtual machines that could pose a threat to cloud computing environments. Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys have, until now, been limited to physical machines, this attack is the first such attack demonstrated on a symmetric multiprocessing system virtualized using a modern VMM (Xen). A side channel is a form of information leakage that arises as a byproduct of resource exposure, such as the sharing of memory caches. A side-channel attack exploits such leakage to steal secrets, such as cryptographic keys. " In this attack, the researchers were able to extract a private ElGamal decryption key from the target VM’s libgcrypt library; the target was running Gnu Privacy Guard. Over the course of a few hours of observations, they were able to reconstruct a 457-bit exponent accompanying a 4096-bit modulus with high accuracy. So high that the attacker was then left to search fewer than 10,000 possible exp
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