Friday, November 20, 2009
Security Pro Says New SSL Attack Can Hit Many Sites
Frank Heidt, CEO of Leviathan Security Group, says his "generic" proof-of-concept code could be used to attack a variety of Web sites. While the attack is extremely difficult to pull off -- the hacker would first have to first pull off a man-in-the-middle attack, running code that compromises the victim's network -- it could have devastating consequences.
The attack exploits the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Authentication Gap bug, first disclosed on Nov. 5. One of the SSL bug's discoverers, Marsh Ray at PhoneFactor, says he's seen a demonstration of Heidt's attack, and he's convinced it could work. "He did show it to me and it's the real deal," Ray said.
The SSL Authentication flaw gives the attacker a way to change data being sent to the SSL server, but there's still no way to read the information coming back. Heidt sends data that causes the SSL server to return a redirect message that then sends the Web browser to another page. He then uses that redirect message to move the victim to an insecure connection where the Web pages can be rewritten by Heidt's computer before they are sent to the victim. PC World