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 126.96.36.199
182 businessinsider.com 188.8.131.52
234 ppomppu.co.kr 184.108.40.206
243 smzdm.com 220.127.116.11
247 americanexpress.com 18.104.22.168
251 jabong.com 22.214.171.124
273 groupon.com 126.96.36.199
290 bloomberg.com 188.8.131.52
442 4shared.com 184.108.40.206
448 npr.org 220.127.116.11
519 hatena.ne.jp 18.104.22.168hatena.ne.jp 22.214.171.124
615 instructables.com 126.96.36.199
629 airtel.in 188.8.131.52airtel.in 184.108.40.206
649 kohls.com 220.127.116.11
767 adplxmd.com 18.104.22.168
795 mit.edu 22.214.171.124
799 tinyurl.com 126.96.36.199
808 suning.com 188.8.131.52
820 saramin.co.kr 184.108.40.206
891 vi-view.com 220.127.116.11
903 itau.com.br 18.104.22.168
951 huaban.com 22.214.171.124
959 zomato.com 126.96.36.199
960 nationalgeographic.com 188.8.131.52
999 marriott.com 184.108.40.206
1001 jobrapido.com 220.127.116.11
1029 forever21.com 18.104.22.168
1089 wiocha.pl 22.214.171.124wiocha.pl 126.96.36.199
1150 axisbank.com 188.8.131.52
1180 clarin.com 184.108.40.206
1236 mgid.com 220.127.116.11
1247 jcpenney.com 18.104.22.168
1261 wowhead.com 22.214.171.124
1297 gaana.com 126.96.36.199
1313 mtime.com 188.8.131.52
1360 refinery29.com 184.108.40.206
1361 vente-privee.com 220.127.116.11
1364 ynet.co.il 18.104.22.168
1383 dhgate.com 22.214.171.124
1411 vesti.ru 126.96.36.199vesti.ru 188.8.131.52
1424 adxcore.com 184.108.40.206
1456 sweet-page.com 220.127.116.11
1484 binaryprofessional.com 18.104.22.168
1502 globososo.com 22.214.171.124
1571 estadao.com.br 126.96.36.199
1573 jcrew.com 188.8.131.52
1586 17173.com 184.108.40.206
1599 bmi.ir 220.127.116.11bmi.ir 18.104.22.168
1620 zdnet.com 22.214.171.124
1646 accountonline.com 126.96.36.199
1662 umich.edu 188.8.131.52
1680 cornell.edu 184.108.40.206
1684 lg.com 220.127.116.11
1693 uludagsozluk.com 18.104.22.168
1722 yixun.com 22.214.171.124
1738 priceminister.com 126.96.36.199
1856 ibtimes.co.uk 188.8.131.52
1860 extra.com.br 184.108.40.206
1864 jiameng.com 220.127.116.11
1866 ihg.com 18.104.22.168
1878 miui.com 22.214.171.124
1902 syosetu.com 126.96.36.199
1915 thrillist.com 188.8.131.52
About the Author
MANISH KUMAR MISHRA E-Mail: email@example.com
(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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