VeriSign and Mozilla Respond to SSL Security Loophole
Presented last week by security mavens Dan Kaminsky of IOActive and independent analyst Moxie Marlinspike, the null characters threat lets an assailant use the null characters inserted in some SSL certificates to deceive just about all conventional browsers into believing it is another site. According to VeriSign’s statement, none of VeriSign’s SSL Certificates are issued with null characters in the common name, so VeriSign certificates can’t be employed in this kind of attack.
“It’s natural to be troubled when security professionals uncover weaknesss that may open an organization and its consumers to attack, but site operators can rest warranted that SSL Certificates from VeriSign can’t be used as a part of the SSL threats made public this week,” VeriSign product selling vice chairman Tim Callan asserted in an announcement. VeriSign’s defensive capacity applies both to customer-facing and non-customer-facing-systems,eg auto-updating desktop applications.
Pros also think certificates using Message Digest Algorithm two could be subject to pre-image attacks, rendering this hash function disloyal. Since May 2009 VeriSign has issued SSL Certificates using SHA- 1, designed by the nation’s Security Agency, assuring existing VeriSign consumer they aren’t exposed to this attack and their certificates do not have to get replaced. An official blog post reads, “We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release.” Those with Firefox 3.5 or Firefox three installed will receive an automatic update notification.