An Industry Wide Attack
9/9/2011: Globalsign admitted evidence of a breach to the web server hosting the www website:
Today we found evidence of a breach to the web server hosting the www website. The breached web server has always been isolated from all other infrastructure and is used only to serve the http://www.globalsign.com website. At present there is no further evidence of breach other than the isolated www web server. As an additional precaution, we continue to monitor all activity to all services closely. The investigation and high threat approach to returning services to normal continues.
Starting from March 2011, one might say that the authentication bastions have been crumbling one after another. In hindsight, one event in particular occurred during March 2011 has been mostly underestimated. Of course I am not referring to the RSA affair, but to the Comodo Hack, whose only blame was to happen too close in time to the RSA Breach, which ended up obfuscating its impact for the Information Security Landscape … At least until August 2011.
As a matter of fact when, immediately after the Comodo Hack, the so called Comodo Hacker published on pastebin his declaration of Cyberwar, no one considered the hypothesis that other Certification Authorities could have been equally compromised. Consequently, although the hack was classified as a serious cyberattack, driven by a political matrix and capable to establish a new (unwelcome) record, it was considered an isolated episode, mainly due to the scarce attention to application security by the targeted Comodo partner. Moreover the final target (Google) and the political reasons behind the attack deserved much more attention than the means used to perpetrate the attack itself: the first-time compromission of a Certification Authority, a completely inedited attack vector.
Nearly four months later, the Diginotar hack (again an attack with alleged political reasons behind although according to Trend Micro it targeted Iranian Internet users) has shown to the world the weaknesses of our authentication model and its chain of trust. Not only the hacker was able to forge more than 500 fake Code Sign and SSL certificates, but he also claimed to have access to other four CAs, quoting explicitly GlobalSign, and indirectly another one StartCom, which was able to avoid the hack since its CEO was sitting in front of the HSM during the attack, although the Comodo Hacker claims to own email, DB Backup and Customer data.
Trust in Diginotar Certificate Authority has been revoked from all browsers and OSes, permanently from all Mozilla Products, but not from Smartphones, with heavy consequences for the Dutch government’s PKIoverheid (PKIgovernment) program. Of course, easily predictable, the assertions from Comodo Hacker triggered panic between cert providers. On September the 6th GlobalSign decided to temporary cease issuance of all certificates as a precautionary measure and appointed Fox-IT to perform an intensive audit (Fox-IT is the same Dutch Cybsersecurity Company which performed the audit on Diginotar); on September the 7th Symantec released a statement to reassure their customers their infrastructure has been audited and it is not compromised. A similar announcement has been published by Thawte after an erroneous report from a Dutch Government agency according to which the Security firm had been breached. Unfortunately the story does not end here and although the Comodo Hacker promises further disclosures.
If I can spend few words on the question, the best way to describe it is to quote a statement from GlobalSign: “these claims (from Comodo Hacker) represent an industry wide attack”. Said in simple words: the aftermaths of the Diginotar hack will force to rethink the current authentication model and chain of trust (even because authentication technologies and vendors are increasingly tied) even if we seriously risk to run out of ammo: in this year we lost tokens and CAs… Now What Else?
- 854,875 hits since November 2010
08/13/2011 - My Post on Android Malware Mentioned on Engadget.
04/14/2011 - The Article Smart Grid: L'ultima Frontiera del Cybercrime published on ICT Security Magazine May 2011.
03/14/2011 - Security Summit 2011: Paolo Passeri guest at Round Table "Mobile Security: Rischi, Tecnologie, Mercato"
02/14/2011 - The Article Gears of Cyberwar published on ICT Security Magazine January 2011.
About This Blog
In this blog I express my personal opinion, which does not necessarily reflects the opinion of my organization, about events and news or interest, concerning information security, winking to mobile world and, why not, to some curious personal event.
Every information is reported with its source.
Anyone intending to use information contained in my post is free to do so, provided that mention my blog in your article.
Top Posts & Pages
- List Of Hacked Celebrities Who Had (Nude) Photos Leaked
- 1-15 July 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline
- 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline Master Index
- A (Graphical) World of Botnets and Cyber Attacks
- 2012 Cyber Attacks Statistics
- 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics
- 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics (Summary)
- Next Generation Firewalls and Web Applications Firewall Q&A
- One Year Of Android Malware (Full List)
- May I Be Arrested For Using LOIC?
- P.F. Chang's incident calls for updating payments tech lnkd.in/dQpjRE8 - 5 hours ago
- @artbyalida @thepacketrat he did the same one week ago for CNET… - 6 hours ago
- WSJ website hacked, data offered for 1 bitcoin -> Here's a cyber attack that will be included in the next timeline: arstechnica.com/security/2014/… - 6 hours ago
- @HP TippingPoint and @lastlineinc team up to offer advanced network protection h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/HP-Security… - 6 hours ago
- Without a good Italian espresso it's impossible to build cutting-edge technology! http://t.co/GZTZFXktsc - 10 hours ago
- @lastlineinc recognized by CRN as a 2014 Emerging Vendor | Business Wire businesswire.com/news/home/2014… - 2 days ago
- 1-15 July 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline #Infosec #Cyberattacks wp.me/p14J6X-2D9 - 2 days ago
- @ckreibich same test worked with an @A10Networks SSL inspector: malicious files downloaded through an https connection perfectly detected! - 6 days ago
- RT @lastlineinc: 'Cloud malware analysis a must-have for advanced threat protection' @TechTarget bit.ly/W70Opa http://t.co/ji5qWtt… - 1 week ago
- RT @cedricpernet: We are proud to be the first french guys to release a white paper about an #APT group :) ow.ly/z2fzL #cybercri… - 1 week ago