My workplace recently, for some definitions of recent, switched the company we use for certificate signing to InCommon. There were quite a few technical/administrative advantages, and since we’re educational, price was a big factor. Everyone has been really happy with the results. Well, except for this one thing. InCommon is not a top level trusted CA, they chain through AddTrust. This isn’t actually all that big a deal, really, as AddTrust is a common CA to have in your trusted bundle, and all we had to do was configure the InCommon chain certificate on our web servers. Other than the occasional chain breakage on some mobile browsers everything seemed peachy. Except, that is, when we ran a vulnerability scan.
Shortly after we switched we started noticing some odd alerts coming out of our vulnerability scans. At first one or two were reporting that the SSL certificate could not be validated. We manually verified the certificates, declared them as false positives, and moved on. Over time more and more systems started reporting this error. Eventually the problem had propagated out far enough that I started digging into it. For reference, the PluginID we’re looking at here is 51192.
I learned two very important, and relevant, pieces of information that day:
- Nessus was not properly validating the chain.
- Chain Certificate files are a little stranger than expected.
Instead of using a system default CA bundle, Nessus ships with its own. You can find the bundle, called known_CA.inc, in the plugin directory. So on Linux systems you should be looking at /opt/nessus/lib/nessus/plugins/known_CA.inc. If you are using a Windows scanner, well, you’re on your own. This is a fairly standard looking CA bundle, and I found that AddTrust was, in fact, included. I did not, however, find any reference to InCommon. Since they are somehow related to Internet2 I looked for them, also no luck.
This isn’t really that big a deal, though. Nessus will also look for, but will not update, a secondary bundle called custom_CA.inc. In most cases, this file would be used to include a local CA, for instance in a closed corporate network where one generates self-signed certificates as a matter of course. However, since you can use it to include arbitrary CA certs we can use it to fix our problem.
It’s easy enough for me to get the intermediate cert, what with it being public and all. This is where things started to get a little weird, though. In order to stay consistent with the known_CA.inc I included the certificate as a decoded X.509+PEM. Placing only the intermediate cert in this file resulted in, again, the certificate chain failing to validate. Next, what follows is a Nessus debugging tip that was roughly an hour’s worth of swearing in the discovering:
If you don’t think the web interface is showing you sufficient information, look at the plugin output in the raw XML.
You can get this by either exporting the report, or by finding it in the user’s reports folder on the scanner. What I discovered was that all of the various and sundry certificates were being read and validated. The chain, however, was being checked in the wrong order, in this case: webserver->AddTrust->InCommon.
After a little more trial and error I learned that, not only, did I need to have both the InCommon intermediate, but also the AddTrust certificates in my custom_CA.inc file, but that the order of the certs in the file also mattered. As it happens, AddTrust had to be entered first, followed by InCommon. This does make some amount of sense, when I adjusted my thought process to an actual chain where AddTrust was the “top-level”.
For completeness, I copied the newly complete custom_CA.inc file to my test webserver and included it as a chain cert using the SSLCertificateChainFile option. This is Apache httpd on Linux, you nginx or IIS folks are on your own. After removing the custom_CA.inc on the Nessus scanner and re-running the scan resulted in the certificate properly validating.
This left me in a good place in two ways:
- I now had a properly formatted custom_CA.inc file that I could put into puppet for all the scanners.
- I now also had a properly formatted chain cert file for inclusion on the web servers.
This fixes the problem from both sides, the server presenting all the correct information, as well as the scanner for cleaning up a false positive. For reference, included below is the chain cert file that was generated. As mentioned previously, it is the same format as a CA bundle. For each certificate you’ll find the ASCII text decoded certificate information, followed by the Base64 encoded PEM version of the same certificate. In my testing, Nessus would accept only the PEM versions, however I wanted to include both outputs since it appears to be the standard.
Certificate: Data: Version: 3 (0x2) Serial Number: 7f:71:c1:d3:a2:26:b0:d2:b1:13:f3:e6:81:67:64:3e Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption Issuer: C=SE, O=AddTrust AB, OU=AddTrust External TTP Network, CN=AddTrust External CA Root Validity Not Before: Dec 7 00:00:00 2010 GMT Not After : May 30 10:48:38 2020 GMT Subject: C=US, O=Internet2, OU=InCommon, CN=InCommon Server CA Subject Public Key Info: Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption Public-Key: (2048 bit) Modulus: 00:97:7c:c7:c8:fe:b3:e9:20:6a:a3:a4:4f:8e:8e: 34:56:06:b3:7a:6c:aa:10:9b:48:61:2b:36:90:69: e3:34:0a:47:a7:bb:7b:de:aa:6a:fb:eb:82:95:8f: ca:1d:7f:af:75:a6:a8:4c:da:20:67:61:1a:0d:86: c1:ca:c1:87:af:ac:4e:e4:de:62:1b:2f:9d:b1:98: af:c6:01:fb:17:70:db:ac:14:59:ec:6f:3f:33:7f: a6:98:0b:e4:e2:38:af:f5:7f:85:6d:0e:74:04:9d: f6:27:86:c7:9b:8f:e7:71:2a:08:f4:03:02:40:63: 24:7d:40:57:8f:54:e0:54:7e:b6:13:48:61:f1:de: ce:0e:bd:b6:fa:4d:98:b2:d9:0d:8d:79:a6:e0:aa: cd:0c:91:9a:a5:df:ab:73:bb:ca:14:78:5c:47:29: a1:ca:c5:ba:9f:c7:da:60:f7:ff:e7:7f:f2:d9:da: a1:2d:0f:49:16:a7:d3:00:92:cf:8a:47:d9:4d:f8: d5:95:66:d3:74:f9:80:63:00:4f:4c:84:16:1f:b3: f5:24:1f:a1:4e:de:e8:95:d6:b2:0b:09:8b:2c:6b: c7:5c:2f:8c:63:c9:99:cb:52:b1:62:7b:73:01:62: 7f:63:6c:d8:68:a0:ee:6a:a8:8d:1f:29:f3:d0:18: ac:ad Exponent: 65537 (0x10001) X509v3 extensions: X509v3 Authority Key Identifier: keyid:AD:BD:98:7A:34:B4:26:F7:FA:C4:26:54:EF:03:BD:E0:24:CB:54:1A
X509v3 Subject Key Identifier: 48:4F:5A:FA:2F:4A:9A:5E:E0:50:F3:6B:7B:55:A5:DE:F5:BE:34:5D X509v3 Key Usage: critical Certificate Sign, CRL Sign X509v3 Basic Constraints: critical CA:TRUE, pathlen:0 X509v3 Certificate Policies: Policy: X509v3 Any Policy
X509v3 CRL Distribution Points:
Full Name: URI:http://crl.usertrust.com/AddTrustExternalCARoot.crl
Authority Information Access: CA Issuers - URI:http://crt.usertrust.com/AddTrustExternalCARoot.p7c CA Issuers - URI:http://crt.usertrust.com/AddTrustUTNSGCCA.crt OCSP - URI:http://ocsp.usertrust.com
Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption 93:66:21:80:74:45:85:4b:c2:ab:ce:32:b0:29:fe:dd:df:d6: 24:5b:bf:03:6a:6f:50:3e:0e:1b:b3:0d:88:a3:5b:ee:c4:a4: 12:3b:56:ef:06:7f:cf:7f:21:95:56:3b:41:31:fe:e1:aa:93: d2:95:f3:95:0d:3c:47:ab:ca:5c:26:ad:3e:f1:f9:8c:34:6e: 11:be:f4:67:e3:02:49:f9:a6:7c:7b:64:25:dd:17:46:f2:50: e3:e3:0a:21:3a:49:24:cd:c6:84:65:68:67:68:b0:45:2d:47: 99:cd:9c:ab:86:29:11:72:dc:d6:9c:36:43:74:f3:d4:97:9e: 56:a0:fe:5f:40:58:d2:d5:d7:7e:7c:c5:8e:1a:b2:04:5c:92: 66:0e:85:ad:2e:06:ce:c8:a3:d8:eb:14:27:91:de:cf:17:30: 81:53:b6:66:12:ad:37:e4:f5:ef:96:5c:20:0e:36:e9:ac:62: 7d:19:81:8a:f5:90:61:a6:49:ab:ce:3c:df:e6:ca:64:ee:82: 65:39:45:95:16:ba:41:06:00:98:ba:0c:56:61:e4:c6:c6:86: 01:cf:66:a9:22:29:02:d6:3d:cf:c4:2a:8d:99:de:fb:09:14: 9e:0e:d1:d5:c6:d7:81:dd:ad:24:ab:ac:07:05:e2:1d:68:c3: 70:66:5f:d3 -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIIEwzCCA6ugAwIBAgIQf3HB06ImsNKxE/PmgWdkPjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADBv MQswCQYDVQQGEwJTRTEUMBIGA1UEChMLQWRkVHJ1c3QgQUIxJjAkBgNVBAsTHUFk ZFRydXN0IEV4dGVybmFsIFRUUCBOZXR3b3JrMSIwIAYDVQQDExlBZGRUcnVzdCBF eHRlcm5hbCBDQSBSb290MB4XDTEwMTIwNzAwMDAwMFoXDTIwMDUzMDEwNDgzOFow UTELMAkGA1UEBhMCVVMxEjAQBgNVBAoTCUludGVybmV0MjERMA8GA1UECxMISW5D b21tb24xGzAZBgNVBAMTEkluQ29tbW9uIFNlcnZlciBDQTCCASIwDQYJKoZIhvcN AQEBBQADggEPADCCAQoCggEBAJd8x8j+s+kgaqOkT46ONFYGs3psqhCbSGErNpBp 4zQKR6e7e96qavvrgpWPyh1/r3WmqEzaIGdhGg2GwcrBh6+sTuTeYhsvnbGYr8YB +xdw26wUWexvPzN/ppgL5OI4r/V/hW0OdASd9ieGx5uP53EqCPQDAkBjJH1AV49U 4FR+thNIYfHezg69tvpNmLLZDY15puCqzQyRmqXfq3O7yhR4XEcpocrFup/H2mD3 /+d/8tnaoS0PSRan0wCSz4pH2U341ZVm03T5gGMAT0yEFh+z9SQfoU7e6JXWsgsJ iyxrx1wvjGPJmctSsWJ7cwFif2Ns2Gig7mqojR8p89AYrK0CAwEAAaOCAXcwggFz MB8GA1UdIwQYMBaAFK29mHo0tCb3+sQmVO8DveAky1QaMB0GA1UdDgQWBBRIT1r6 L0qaXuBQ82t7VaXe9b40XTAOBgNVHQ8BAf8EBAMCAQYwEgYDVR0TAQH/BAgwBgEB /wIBADARBgNVHSAECjAIMAYGBFUdIAAwRAYDVR0fBD0wOzA5oDegNYYzaHR0cDov L2NybC51c2VydHJ1c3QuY29tL0FkZFRydXN0RXh0ZXJuYWxDQVJvb3QuY3JsMIGz BggrBgEFBQcBAQSBpjCBozA/BggrBgEFBQcwAoYzaHR0cDovL2NydC51c2VydHJ1 c3QuY29tL0FkZFRydXN0RXh0ZXJuYWxDQVJvb3QucDdjMDkGCCsGAQUFBzAChi1o dHRwOi8vY3J0LnVzZXJ0cnVzdC5jb20vQWRkVHJ1c3RVVE5TR0NDQS5jcnQwJQYI KwYBBQUHMAGGGWh0dHA6Ly9vY3NwLnVzZXJ0cnVzdC5jb20wDQYJKoZIhvcNAQEF BQADggEBAJNmIYB0RYVLwqvOMrAp/t3f1iRbvwNqb1A+DhuzDYijW+7EpBI7Vu8G f89/IZVWO0Ex/uGqk9KV85UNPEerylwmrT7x+Yw0bhG+9GfjAkn5pnx7ZCXdF0by UOPjCiE6SSTNxoRlaGdosEUtR5nNnKuGKRFy3NacNkN089SXnlag/l9AWNLV1358 xY4asgRckmYOha0uBs7Io9jrFCeR3s8XMIFTtmYSrTfk9e+WXCAONumsYn0ZgYr1 kGGmSavOPN/mymTugmU5RZUWukEGAJi6DFZh5MbGhgHPZqkiKQLWPc/EKo2Z3vsJ FJ4O0dXG14HdrSSrrAcF4h1ow3BmX9M= -----END CERTIFICATE----- Certificate: Data: Version: 3 (0x2) Serial Number: 1 (0x1) Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption Issuer: C=SE, O=AddTrust AB, OU=AddTrust External TTP Network, CN=AddTrust External CA Root Validity Not Before: May 30 10:48:38 2000 GMT Not After : May 30 10:48:38 2020 GMT Subject: C=SE, O=AddTrust AB, OU=AddTrust External TTP Network, CN=AddTrust External CA Root Subject Public Key Info: Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption Public-Key: (2048 bit) Modulus: 00:b7:f7:1a:33:e6:f2:00:04:2d:39:e0:4e:5b:ed: 1f:bc:6c:0f:cd:b5:fa:23:b6:ce:de:9b:11:33:97: a4:29:4c:7d:93:9f:bd:4a:bc:93:ed:03:1a:e3:8f: cf:e5:6d:50:5a:d6:97:29:94:5a:80:b0:49:7a:db: 2e:95:fd:b8:ca:bf:37:38:2d:1e:3e:91:41:ad:70: 56:c7:f0:4f:3f:e8:32:9e:74:ca:c8:90:54:e9:c6: 5f:0f:78:9d:9a:40:3c:0e:ac:61:aa:5e:14:8f:9e: 87:a1:6a:50:dc:d7:9a:4e:af:05:b3:a6:71:94:9c: 71:b3:50:60:0a:c7:13:9d:38:07:86:02:a8:e9:a8: 69:26:18:90:ab:4c:b0:4f:23:ab:3a:4f:84:d8:df: ce:9f:e1:69:6f:bb:d7:42:d7:6b:44:e4:c7:ad:ee: 6d:41:5f:72:5a:71:08:37:b3:79:65:a4:59:a0:94: 37:f7:00:2f:0d:c2:92:72:da:d0:38:72:db:14:a8: 45:c4:5d:2a:7d:b7:b4:d6:c4:ee:ac:cd:13:44:b7: c9:2b:dd:43:00:25:fa:61:b9:69:6a:58:23:11:b7: a7:33:8f:56:75:59:f5:cd:29:d7:46:b7:0a:2b:65: b6:d3:42:6f:15:b2:b8:7b:fb:ef:e9:5d:53:d5:34: 5a:27 Exponent: 65537 (0x10001) X509v3 extensions: X509v3 Subject Key Identifier: AD:BD:98:7A:34:B4:26:F7:FA:C4:26:54:EF:03:BD:E0:24:CB:54:1A X509v3 Key Usage: Certificate Sign, CRL Sign X509v3 Basic Constraints: critical CA:TRUE X509v3 Authority Key Identifier: keyid:AD:BD:98:7A:34:B4:26:F7:FA:C4:26:54:EF:03:BD:E0:24:CB:54:1A DirName:/C=SE/O=AddTrust AB/OU=AddTrust External TTP Network/CN=AddTrust External CA Root serial:01
Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption b0:9b:e0:85:25:c2:d6:23:e2:0f:96:06:92:9d:41:98:9c:d9: 84:79:81:d9:1e:5b:14:07:23:36:65:8f:b0:d8:77:bb:ac:41: 6c:47:60:83:51:b0:f9:32:3d:e7:fc:f6:26:13:c7:80:16:a5: bf:5a:fc:87:cf:78:79:89:21:9a:e2:4c:07:0a:86:35:bc:f2: de:51:c4:d2:96:b7:dc:7e:4e:ee:70:fd:1c:39:eb:0c:02:51: 14:2d:8e:bd:16:e0:c1:df:46:75:e7:24:ad:ec:f4:42:b4:85: 93:70:10:67:ba:9d:06:35:4a:18:d3:2b:7a:cc:51:42:a1:7a: 63:d1:e6:bb:a1:c5:2b:c2:36:be:13:0d:e6:bd:63:7e:79:7b: a7:09:0d:40:ab:6a:dd:8f:8a:c3:f6:f6:8c:1a:42:05:51:d4: 45:f5:9f:a7:62:21:68:15:20:43:3c:99:e7:7c:bd:24:d8:a9: 91:17:73:88:3f:56:1b:31:38:18:b4:71:0f:9a:cd:c8:0e:9e: 8e:2e:1b:e1:8c:98:83:cb:1f:31:f1:44:4c:c6:04:73:49:76: 60:0f:c7:f8:bd:17:80:6b:2e:e9:cc:4c:0e:5a:9a:79:0f:20: 0a:2e:d5:9e:63:26:1e:55:92:94:d8:82:17:5a:7b:d0:bc:c7: 8f:4e:86:04 -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIIENjCCAx6gAwIBAgIBATANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADBvMQswCQYDVQQGEwJTRTEU MBIGA1UEChMLQWRkVHJ1c3QgQUIxJjAkBgNVBAsTHUFkZFRydXN0IEV4dGVybmFs IFRUUCBOZXR3b3JrMSIwIAYDVQQDExlBZGRUcnVzdCBFeHRlcm5hbCBDQSBSb290 MB4XDTAwMDUzMDEwNDgzOFoXDTIwMDUzMDEwNDgzOFowbzELMAkGA1UEBhMCU0Ux FDASBgNVBAoTC0FkZFRydXN0IEFCMSYwJAYDVQQLEx1BZGRUcnVzdCBFeHRlcm5h bCBUVFAgTmV0d29yazEiMCAGA1UEAxMZQWRkVHJ1c3QgRXh0ZXJuYWwgQ0EgUm9v dDCCASIwDQYJKoZIhvcNAQEBBQADggEPADCCAQoCggEBALf3GjPm8gAELTngTlvt H7xsD821+iO2zt6bETOXpClMfZOfvUq8k+0DGuOPz+VtUFrWlymUWoCwSXrbLpX9 uMq/NzgtHj6RQa1wVsfwTz/oMp50ysiQVOnGXw94nZpAPA6sYapeFI+eh6FqUNzX mk6vBbOmcZSccbNQYArHE504B4YCqOmoaSYYkKtMsE8jqzpPhNjfzp/haW+710LX a0Tkx63ubUFfclpxCDezeWWkWaCUN/cALw3CknLa0Dhy2xSoRcRdKn23tNbE7qzN E0S3ySvdQwAl+mG5aWpYIxG3pzOPVnVZ9c0p10a3CitlttNCbxWyuHv77+ldU9U0 WicCAwEAAaOB3DCB2TAdBgNVHQ4EFgQUrb2YejS0Jvf6xCZU7wO94CTLVBowCwYD VR0PBAQDAgEGMA8GA1UdEwEB/wQFMAMBAf8wgZkGA1UdIwSBkTCBjoAUrb2YejS0 Jvf6xCZU7wO94CTLVBqhc6RxMG8xCzAJBgNVBAYTAlNFMRQwEgYDVQQKEwtBZGRU cnVzdCBBQjEmMCQGA1UECxMdQWRkVHJ1c3QgRXh0ZXJuYWwgVFRQIE5ldHdvcmsx IjAgBgNVBAMTGUFkZFRydXN0IEV4dGVybmFsIENBIFJvb3SCAQEwDQYJKoZIhvcN AQEFBQADggEBALCb4IUlwtYj4g+WBpKdQZic2YR5gdkeWxQHIzZlj7DYd7usQWxH YINRsPkyPef89iYTx4AWpb9a/IfPeHmJIZriTAcKhjW88t5RxNKWt9x+Tu5w/Rw5 6wwCURQtjr0W4MHfRnXnJK3s9EK0hZNwEGe6nQY1ShjTK3rMUUKhemPR5ruhxSvC Nr4TDea9Y355e6cJDUCrat2PisP29owaQgVR1EX1n6diIWgVIEM8med8vSTYqZEX c4g/VhsxOBi0cQ+azcgOno4uG+GMmIPLHzHxREzGBHNJdmAPx/i9F4BrLunMTA5a mnkPIAou1Z5jJh5VkpTYghdae9C8x49OhgQ= -----END CERTIFICATE-----
Such resource-based mechanisms have been tried and implemented before, albeit for a different problem domain (preventing XSS attacks). Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (W3C, Wikipedia) attempts to do just that by vetting incoming third party requests. However, like HTML-based lists, it does not work well when the trusted end users are “everyone”, i.e. a public web service.
Zuly Gonzalez discusses a potential solution her startup has been working on – running scripts on a disposable vm. Zuly makes some good points – even with a whitelisted domain, you cannot necessarily trust each and every script that is added to the domain; moreover, after you have made your trust decision, a simple whitelist is not enough without re-vetting the script.
Zuly’s company – if you’re interested, check out her answer – runs scripts on a disposable virtual machine rather than on your computer. Disclaimer: we haven’t tested it, but the premise sounds good.
Clearly, however, such a solution is not available to everyone. Karrax suggested that the best option might be to install plugins such as McAfee SiteAdvisor to help inform users as to what domains they should be trusting. He notes that the NoScript team are beginning to integrate such functionality into the user interface of NoScript itself. This is a feature I did not know I had, so I tried it. According to the trial page, at the time of writing the service is experimental, but all of the linked to sites provide a lot of information about the domain name and whether to trust it.
This is an area with no single solution yet, and these various solutions are in continuous development. Let’s see what the future holds.
Last week, we looked at the hardening tag. Today we are going back on a specific question : Does an established SSL connection mean a line is really secure?
Why did we pick up this question? Because almost everyone has heard of SSL, but many are not sure how it works and what it is used for.
Well, the first thing we need to talk about is history of the protocol.
Secure Sockets Layer
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic protocol – now renamed to Transport Layer Security (or TLS). This protocol is designed to create eavesdropping-proof and tampering-proof communication over the Internet and other untrusted networks.
Originally developed by Netscape, the protocol came out in 1995 with its 2.0 version (1.0 was never publicly released). But SSL 2.0 came with some serious security flaws, which included a Man in the Middle vulnerability, which could allow an attacker to sit in the middle of an encrypted communication, unknown to either end, and decrypt the traffic. A new version was released in 1996 as SSL 3.0. The next step of the standard is SSL 3.1 also named TLS 1.0. Only a few improvements were made for this version, but enough to make TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0 incompatible. The current version of TLS is the 1.2 release from 2008.
So what is it used for? Well many people use it on a regular basis. In fact, TLS is used on many websites to provide the HTTPS connections. But it can also encapsulate other protocols, like FTP, SMTP, NNTP or XMPP. You can even use it to secure an entire VPN as with OpenVPN.
So is it secure?
The question can’t be answered as is. It depends…
First thing to rule out is that you are not using SSL < 3.0 versions. Since they all showed flaws they should not be used now.
Secondly we must ensure the implementation is correct. This question discusses the SSL TLS Renegotiation Vulnerability which is present in some browser versions.
Next we must make sure the connection is using encryption. What? Yes: TLS supports a mode of NULL encryption.
From curiosity I’ve looked in the
about:config page of Firefox 5.x. Be relieved, all ssl2 settings and null encryption mode are disabled.
And finally you need to check that the connection has been established with regard to the protocol. You may be curious on what you could have done not to respect the protocol, let me explain:
The connection is established in multiple steps called a handshake.
- The client connects, and if it requires a secure connection it sends a list of supported ciphers.
- The server picks a cipher from the list (Usually the first in the client list which is compatible with the server list, not necesarrily the strongest), then it notifies the client.
- The server also sends back its identification, packed into a digital certificate. This certification contains the asymmetric public key of the server and it is signed by a Certificate authority.
- The client MAY contact this Certificate Authority to confirm the validity of the server’s public key. This is very important, but the cost of online verification makes it impractical. So usually, the browser embeds Certificate Authority public key to perform an online check of the server’s certificate.
- To generate the session keys, the client encrypts a random number using the server’s public key. Asymmetric cryptography makes deciphering the number without the private key infeasible.
- Now the client and the server have a shared secret they can use to derive the keys for the actual connection.
One of the key point in this scenario is the verification of the Certificate. Did you ever connect to a site and see your browser pop up a message about the certificate? Did you read the message? Usually those kind of security warning are here to tell you that the server certificate has expired, or that it is not signed by a trusted authority.
Theses warnings are critical! You may be subject to a man in the middle attack. By clicking : go to this site anyway, you are giving your browser the express command to trust the certificate you were presented. But, unless you had verified it from the Certificate Authority yourself and decided it should be trusted, you could have accepted a forged certificate by a compromised authority. Your connection is then no longer secure.
Does this means that respecting the protocol ensures your security? Well yes.
Provided you made all the verifications, and as AviD said in the today’s featured question:
While there are some mostly theoretical attacks on the cryptography of SSL[TLS], from my PoV its still plenty strong enough for almost all purposes, and will be for a long time.
But I should ponder that yes the connection is secure. And even if we will not turn into paranoiacs of security, one should always ask oneself what the server will be doing with the data provided. It is a good thing to send data on a secured connection, but this has no meaning if the other endpoint forwards them on unsecured lines.
To dig more:
Question of the Week #2
Unlike last week, where we looked at a specific question @nealmcb recommended the entire hardening tag! This is a well highlighted aspect of Information Security since it is what got many of us into the field. We knew that the factory switch config or default Windows installation wasn’t quite good enough so we tried to figure out exactly what to change in order to make things better.
From the basic Operating System hardening techniques that many of us are familiar with, we as a community have started applying the principles to more and more devices. As of writing this entry we have 19 open questions in that area ranging from What does defense in depth entail for a web app? to Best practices for securing an iPhone.
In my opinion, we’re clearly Getting It ™, as an industry, when we have moved on from Hardening Linux Server and are having real honest discussions about securing iPhones and Best practices for securing an android device.
In addition to the mobile device questions listed above, I think my favorites so far have been:
- Apache Server Hardening (Eric W)
- IIS and SQLServer Hardening (Voulnet)
- What methods are available for securing SSH? (Olivier Lalonde)
- What does defense in depth entail for a web app? (VirtuosiMedia)
While some questions have received a large amount of traffic, such as Apache Server Hardening at 9 answers and over 1000 views, others have managed to slip through with relatively little traffic, like How do I apply a security baseline to 2008 R2? slipping in at 1 answer and >200 views.
Is there a platform you use that you are not sure how to secure? Do you have experience with hardening a particular configuration? Join the party by browsing through the questions in the hardening tag and adding your own fancy tips and tricks. Better yet, ask ask ask! Show us up, or work us hard.