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OpenSSH Now Encrypts Secret Keys in Memory Against Side-Channel Attacks

OpenSSH Now Encrypts Secret Keys in Memory Against Side-Channel Attacks

June 22, 2019Mohit Kumar
In recent years, several groups of cybersecurity researchers have disclosed dozens of memory side-channel vulnerabilities in modern processors and DRAM s, like Rowhammer , RAMBleed , Spectre, and Meltdown . Have you ever noticed they all had at least one thing in common? That's OpenSSH. As a proof-of-concept, many researchers demonstrated their side-channel attacks against OpenSSH application installed on a targeted computer, where an unprivileged attacker-owned process exploits memory read vulnerabilities to steal secret SSH private keys from the restricted memory regions of the system. That's possible because OpenSSH has an agent that keeps a copy of your SSH key in the memory so that you don't have to type your passphrase every time you want to connect to the same remote server. However, modern operating systems by default store sensitive data, including encryption keys and passwords, in the kernel memory which can not be accessed by user-level privileged p
Hacking Gmail App with 92 Percent Success Rate

Hacking Gmail App with 92 Percent Success Rate

August 23, 2014Mohit Kumar
A group of security researchers has successfully discovered a method to hack into six out of seven popular Smartphone apps, including Gmail across all the three platforms - Android , Windows, and iOS operating systems - with shockingly high success rate of up to 92 percent. Computer scientists the University of California Riverside Bourns College of Engineering and the University of Michigan have identified a new weakness they believe to exist in Android, Windows, and iOS platforms that could allow possibly be used by hackers to obtain users' personal information using malicious apps. The team of researchers - Zhiyun Qian , of the University of California, Riverside, and Z. Morley Mao and Qi Alfred Chen from the University of Michigan - will present its paper, " Peeking into Your App without Actually Seeing It: UI State Inference and Novel Android Attacks " ( PDF ), at the USENIX Security Symposium in San Diego on August 23. The paper detailed a new type of
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