Few days back security researchers group (named as SMACK ) made everyone aware of a new SSL/TLS vulnerability, termed as FREAK (CVE-2015-0204). FREAK stands for Factoring Attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys. After POODLE, it is another catastrophic SSL/TLS vulnerability. FREAK vulnerability enables malicious attackers to do the MITM attack between the vulnerable clients and servers on encrypted channel. Attackers are forcefully making sure that vulnerable clients and servers must use older and weaker ‘Export-grade’ cryptography. This export-grade encryption uses 512-bit RSA keys. This export-grade encryption can be easily decrypted and it’s very easy to hamper its integrity.
ROOT of the problem:
In 1990s, the US government endeavored to direct the export of items using “robust” encryption and gadgets were stacked with weaker “export-grade” encryption before being dispatched out of the nation. Around then, it was permitted a most extreme key length of 512 bits for “export-grade” encryption. Later in 2000, due to an amendment in US export laws, merchants were allowed to incorporate 128-bit ciphers in their items and were able to disseminate these everywhere throughout the world. The main issue is that “export-grade” cryptography backings was never evacuated and now after three decades, FREAK vulnerability, anticipatively making it easier for hackers and malicious attackers to interpret the site’s private key and decode passwords, login, and other delicate data from HTTPS associations.
OK, now let me know how it works:
According to Professor Matthew Green, cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University, to understand the working of FREAK it’s necessary to understand working of MITM attack:
If only server is vulnerable, it’s not guarantee that the attack will be successful. For the attack to be successful, both browser and server must have to support Export-grade cipher suites..not guarantee that the attack will be successful. For the attack to be successful, both browser and server must have to support Export-grade cipher suites.
How to check whether you are safe from FREAK attack or not?
Everyone is not vulnerable to FREAK attack. To check whether your browser is vulnerable to this attack or not, visit www.freakattack.com. If your browser is safe from FREAK attack, then it will prompt a message, ‘Good News! Your browser appears to be safe from the FREAK Attack!’, else it will prompt a Warning message that your browser is vulnerable to CVE-2015-0204. Best way to make yourself free from this attack is to update your browser.
Is there any similarity between FREAK and POODLE?
POODLE vulnerability stands for ‘Padding Oracle on Downgraded Legacy Encryption’. It allows malicious attackers to lower down the SSL/TLS communication to the possible weakest version. FREAK is similar to POODLE in a way that it affects those SSL/TLS implementations that supports and accepts export versions of protocols that uses RSA algorithm.
APPLE and GOOGLE plans to tackle FREAK:
Apple is planning to introduce fixes for Safari on OS X and iOS next week. On the other hand Google has already handed over patch to the concerned ones. Google is also planning to make sure that all the websites must disable the support for export certificates.
HTTPS Sites that support RSA Export Suites:
According to Alexa Top 10K, following are the some websites that support RSA Export suites as of Tuesday, March 3, 9:00 PM EST. This list is quite long; you can go for the full list at suites as of Tuesday, March 3, 9:00 PM EST. This list is quite long; you can go for the full list at https://freakattack.com/vulnerable.txt .
Alexa Rank Domain Address Tested
27 sohu.com 220.127.116.11
182 businessinsider.com 18.104.22.168
234 ppomppu.co.kr 22.214.171.124
243 smzdm.com 126.96.36.199
247 americanexpress.com 188.8.131.52
251 jabong.com 184.108.40.206
273 groupon.com 220.127.116.11
290 bloomberg.com 18.104.22.168
442 4shared.com 22.214.171.124
448 npr.org 126.96.36.199
519 hatena.ne.jp 188.8.131.52hatena.ne.jp 184.108.40.206
615 instructables.com 220.127.116.11
629 airtel.in 18.104.22.168airtel.in 22.214.171.124
649 kohls.com 126.96.36.199
767 adplxmd.com 188.8.131.52
795 mit.edu 184.108.40.206
799 tinyurl.com 220.127.116.11
808 suning.com 18.104.22.168
820 saramin.co.kr 22.214.171.124
891 vi-view.com 126.96.36.199
903 itau.com.br 188.8.131.52
951 huaban.com 184.108.40.206
959 zomato.com 220.127.116.11
960 nationalgeographic.com 18.104.22.168
999 marriott.com 22.214.171.124
1001 jobrapido.com 126.96.36.199
1029 forever21.com 188.8.131.52
1089 wiocha.pl 184.108.40.206wiocha.pl 220.127.116.11
1150 axisbank.com 18.104.22.168
1180 clarin.com 22.214.171.124
1236 mgid.com 126.96.36.199
1247 jcpenney.com 188.8.131.52
1261 wowhead.com 184.108.40.206
1297 gaana.com 220.127.116.11
1313 mtime.com 18.104.22.168
1360 refinery29.com 22.214.171.124
1361 vente-privee.com 126.96.36.199
1364 ynet.co.il 188.8.131.52
1383 dhgate.com 184.108.40.206
1411 vesti.ru 220.127.116.11vesti.ru 18.104.22.168
1424 adxcore.com 22.214.171.124
1456 sweet-page.com 126.96.36.199
1484 binaryprofessional.com 188.8.131.52
1502 globososo.com 184.108.40.206
1571 estadao.com.br 220.127.116.11
1573 jcrew.com 18.104.22.168
1586 17173.com 22.214.171.124
1599 bmi.ir 126.96.36.199bmi.ir 188.8.131.52
1620 zdnet.com 184.108.40.206
1646 accountonline.com 220.127.116.11
1662 umich.edu 18.104.22.168
1680 cornell.edu 22.214.171.124
1684 lg.com 126.96.36.199
1693 uludagsozluk.com 188.8.131.52
1722 yixun.com 184.108.40.206
1738 priceminister.com 220.127.116.11
1856 ibtimes.co.uk 18.104.22.168
1860 extra.com.br 22.214.171.124
1864 jiameng.com 126.96.36.199
1866 ihg.com 188.8.131.52
1878 miui.com 184.108.40.206
1902 syosetu.com 220.127.116.11
1915 thrillist.com 18.104.22.168
About the Author
MANISH KUMAR MISHRA E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(ISO27001,C|EH v8 certified Information Security professional)
MS in Cyber Law and Information Security
Institute: Indian Institute Of Information Technology (IIIT)- Allahabad
Edited by Pierluigi Paganini
(Security Affairs – Drones, Privacy)
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