Connect with us

Cyber Security

Browsers to Enforce Shorter Certificate Life Spans: What Businesses Should Know

Avatar

Published

on


Apple, Google, and Mozilla will shorten the life span for TLS certificates in a move poised to aid security but cause operational troubles.

On Sept. 1, browsers and devices from Apple, Google, and Mozilla will show errors for new TLS certificates with a life span longer than 398 days. The move, while beneficial for security, pushes back against certificate authorities (CAs) and may prove an operational headache for businesses. 

The life span of SSL/TLS certificates has dramatically shrunk in the past 10 years. Just over a decade ago, domain registrars sold TLS certificates valid for eight to 10 years. The Certification Authority Browser Forum (CA/Browser Forum), a group of CAs, imposed a five-year limit in 2011. This was cut to three years in 2015 and to two years in 2018.

Historically, these changes were made in collaboration between browser makers and CAs, with the two parties debating rules and changes before voting on and implementing them – until a ballot proposing one-year validity was voted down by CAs at a CA/Browser Forum meeting. Following this, Apple broke standard processes and individually chose to enforce 398-day limits in Safari. 

Apple made its decision public in February and confirmed this change will only affect TLS server certificates issued from Root CAs on or after Sept. 1. Certificates issued before then won’t be affected; neither will those from user-added or administrator-added Root CAs. Mozilla and Google have voiced plans to implement a similar rule in their browsers starting on Sept. 1.

The change will have consequences: Apple says connections to TLS servers violating its new requirements will fail, which may cause network and applications to fail and prevent websites from loading. Google warns certificates older than 398 days will be rejected with an error and treated as misissued. Apple recommends new certificates be issued with a 397-day validity.

Browser makers have long argued that shorter TLS life spans are better for browser security because they reduce the time frame in which attackers could compromise or duplicate a certificate, which is critical to protecting traffic to and from websites. A successful attack would give someone “the keys to the kingdom,” says Lamont Orange, CISO at Netskope. As attackers look to move higher up the food chain, he says, this is precisely what they want. 

“This is better than username and password in a lot of ways,” says Orange, of this level of compromise. Credentials may grant access to a system that could enable lateral movement across the environment. Access to a certificate could let an attacker do far more nefarious activities: control Web properties, access desktops and laptops, or encrypt communications.

“As a bad actor, I open up avenues that I can use for monetary gain, or to disrupt the system and be a nuisance, or just cause general frustration within different companies around the security of their infrastructure and Web properties,” he explains.

Shortening the life span of TLS certificates will require businesses to frequently rotate them so by the time an attacker figures out how to copy one, it’s no longer valid. The change will shrink the attack surface and cut down on dwell time, protecting organizations from compromise. 

In theory, it sounds like a benefit. In practice, it’s likely companies will struggle to keep up with the challenges of renewing certificates and changing private keys used to authenticate them. 

Rotating TLS Certificates: Easier Said Than Done
The move to shorter life spans will come at an operational cost

“In general, shortening lifetimes is actually good for the ecosystem – it’s not really something customers think about,” says Dean Coclin, senior director of business development at DigiCert and former chair of the CA/Browser Forum. Now, he says, they’ll have to worry about it more often.

These renewals can be done with automated tools; however, many businesses continue to do this manually, and larger firms may be responsible for renewing thousands of certificates. For administrators, it’s an operational headache. If they fail to keep up, visitors to their website on certain browsers will see a warning the site isn’t secure, which to many is a big red flag.

“When you look at the operational aspects of it, it can get pretty hairy,” says Orange. “As a practitioner that has to deal with this … there has to be a lot of planning that goes into how you migrate these certificates on an annual basis, roughly, and then understanding the applications taxonomy, or the website’s taxonomy, to understand what potentially could break.”

There wasn’t much of a guideline on how to use certificates when they became popular, he adds, so many organizations and practitioners used a “wildcard certificate,” or a public key certificate at the root of the certificate hierarchy that can be used with multiple subdomains. This made it easier to secure more assets but increased the risk if one was compromised.

Now it comes back to principles of architecture: Businesses must decide whether they need to rearchitect their use of certificates so it’s not as challenging. Service providers want to make sure they’re simplifying where possible, so they don’t inadvertently cause system unavailability. 

The concerns extend beyond websites to Web applications, which may need to be refactored following this change, Orange continues. As TLS versions change, some applications may not be able to communicate on newer versions. Companies that rely on Web-based applications may notice a lack of functionality or run into more errors if their certificates aren’t updated in time. 

“Some website owners find the process of securing their site to be difficult,” says Robin Wilton, director of Internet Trust for the Internet Society. “Certificate installation is still not easy, and it’s hard to carry out a complex process that only needs to be done every two to three years.”

Next page: How your organization can prepare

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial … View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

Previous

1 of 2

Next

More Insights

Source: https://www.darkreading.com/cloud/browsers-to-enforce-shorter-certificate-life-spans-what-businesses-should-know/d/d-id/1338507?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

Cyber Security

Bitglass Security Spotlight: Over 200k Instacart Users’ Data Is Being Sold on Dark Web

Avatar

Published

on

[ This article was originally published here ]

Here are the top stories of recent weeks:

  • Instacart Customer Data for Sale on Dark Web
  • 17 Million users exposed on SaaS platform
  • First American Financial Corp. Charged Over 2019 Breach
  • COVID-19 Research Data Hacked by Chinese Contractors
  • University of York, the Latest Victim of a Data Breach

Avatar

Source: https://www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/bitglass-security-spotlight-over-200k-instacart-users-data-is-being-sold-on-dark-web/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitglass-security-spotlight-over-200k-instacart-users-data-is-being-sold-on-dark-web

Continue Reading

Cyber Security

Reddit Attack Defaces Dozens of Channels

Avatar

Published

on

Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT’s National Vulnerability Database CVE-2020-15058
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.

CVE-2020-15059
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to bypass authentication via a web-administration request that lacks a password parameter.

CVE-2020-15060
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to conduct persistent XSS attacks by leveraging administrative privileges to set a crafted server name.

CVE-2020-15061
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to denial-of-service the device via long input values.

CVE-2020-15062
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

DIGITUS DA-70254 4-Port Gigabit Network Hub 2.073.000.E0008 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.

Source: https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/reddit-attack-defaces-dozens-of-channels/d/d-id/1338614?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

Continue Reading

Cyber Security

Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS

Avatar

Published

on

Building successful macro attacks means getting past several layers of security, but a Black Hat speaker found a way through.

Microsoft Office is no stranger to vulnerabilities and exploits. Most of those vulnerabilities led from Microsoft Office to Microsoft Windows, but it’s possible for an attacker to take an exploit path from Microsoft Office to macOS — a path that Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher at Jamf, discussed in his presentation on Wednesday at Black Hat USA.

Wardle began by pointing out that macros — executable code inserted into documents — have been exploited as attack vectors since at least 1999. In the last three or four years, Wardle said, more of these exploits have been aimed at macOS targets as Macs have become more attractive targets because of their increased use in business environments.

The Human Side
In most of the macro-based attacks, human intervention on the part of the victim is required at least once, and usually twice, Wardle said. First, the victim must click on an email attachment or malicious link in order to download and open the infected document. Next, in most cases macros will not run on a system by default — they must be given explicit permission to run by the user.

Most macro-based attacks have two stages, Wardle explained. In the first — the stage given explicit permission to run by the victim — code executes that checks the system status, checks for the presence of anti-malware software, and then downloads the second stage. It’s the second stage payload that contains the “working” code of the attack, whether it’s skimming credentials, creating a bot, or encrypting the system’s data as part of a ransomware scheme.

Out of the (Sand)box
Modern malware writers have an additional hurdle to overcome. Microsoft Office now executes all macros in a “sandbox,” a walled-off environment within the operating system that prevents code from gaining persistence or interacting with the system as a whole. The goal for malware writers is breaking out of the sandbox.

Wardle said that researchers Pieter Ceelen and Stan Hegt found ways to include SYLK files and XLM code that make macros execute whether or not they’re invoked or allowed. They still run within the sandbox. Wardle showed that it’s possible to create files through a macro — files that can be placed outside the macro and can be built to auto execute on system boot. That combination is the key to persistence, one of the golden tickets that attackers pursue in any campaign.

What kind of files can fit the twin bill? Wardle found that a ZIP file, dropped into the proper subdirectory, will be invoked automatically. While the latest macOS endpoint security framework should detect such a file’s creation, Wardle said that there’s room for research here.

Asked by an audience member how he decides on which areas to pursue in his research, Wardle said that he looks at common vulnerabilities and exposures and their patches — especially patches that are very specific — and wonders whether there can be ways around them. Also, he said, he keeps abreast of research and finds that other researchers are a constant source of inspiration.

Related content

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and … View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

More Insights

Source: https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/researcher-finds-new-office-macro-attacks-for-macos/d/d-id/1338610?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

Continue Reading
Publications1 hour ago

Stock futures up in overnight trading after Wall Street notches seventh straight day of gains

Cannabis2 hours ago

An in-depth look at the study that discovered THCP, a cannabinoid more potent than THC

Publications2 hours ago

Trump evacuated from press briefing after Secret Service officer shoots man outside White House

Blockchain2 hours ago

Australian Hacker Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for $300K XRP Theft

Publications2 hours ago

After border clash with China, India to continue strengthening ties with U.S., others, experts say

Publications4 hours ago

Coronavirus live updates: Global cases top 20 million; Mnuchin says relief deal could come this week

Blockchain5 hours ago

What Would the Re-Election of Alexander Lukashenko Mean for Crypto?

Publications6 hours ago

Banks and tech giants including JPMorgan and Amazon pledge to hire 100,000 minority New Yorkers

Blockchain7 hours ago

Tron (TRX) Forms Textbook Bear Signal Despite Rally in the Altcoin Market

Blockchain7 hours ago

USDA Proposes Blockchain Ledger for Organic Product Supply Chain

Publications7 hours ago

Airline shares surge as TSA numbers hit pandemic high, support for second bailout builds

AR/VR7 hours ago

Facebook Researchers Develop Bleeding-edge Facial Reconstruction Tech So You Can Make Goofy Faces in VR

Publications7 hours ago

Robinhood reports more monthly trades than rivals Charles Schwab, E-Trade combined

Cannabis7 hours ago

Arizona Legalization Initiative Survives Lawsuit

Publications7 hours ago

Trump urges Americans to stop politicizing the coronavirus, blames China

Publications8 hours ago

Big tech is bubbling up and could spark a correction, BTIG’s Julian Emanuel warns

Publications8 hours ago

Epic Systems walks back plans requiring thousands of employees to return to work this week

Publications8 hours ago

China unveils policies to boost chipmakers as tensions with U.S. rise. Analysts say they may not help

Blockchain9 hours ago

Bitcoin May Start a New Consolidation Trend After Facing Another $12k Rejection

Publications9 hours ago

Salesforce dumps Zoom shares after more than tripling its money since 2019 IPO

Cannabis9 hours ago

Canada is Allowing Psilocybin Access For Terminally Ill Patients

Blockchain9 hours ago

Ethereum Classic’s Leadership Says They Don’t Need Charles Hoskinson’s Bailout

Automotive10 hours ago

2021 Porsche 911 Targa First Drive | The best roofless 911

Blockchain10 hours ago

DeFi Tokens BAND, LINK, Outpace Bitcoin Price by Gaining 100% in 10 Days

Publications10 hours ago

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Lyft, Uber, Occidental Petroleum and more

Publications10 hours ago

Judge grants preliminary injunction requiring Uber and Lyft to stop classifying drivers as contractors

Cannabis11 hours ago

New Documentary Explores The Science Of Medical Cannabis

Automotive11 hours ago

Nikola stock jumps after it bags big trash-truck order

Automotive11 hours ago

Fiat Chrysler denies GM’s ‘preposterous’ bribery allegations

Blockchain12 hours ago

Ethereum Reaches a Turning Point; Here’s What Could Reverse Its Uptrend

Biotechnology12 hours ago

Life after R&D death: Halozyme CEO Helen Torley on the company’s pivot and path to profitability

Blockchain12 hours ago

Bitcoin’s on-chain solution has its hands full dealing with WBTC

Automotive13 hours ago

This miniature Bugatti Type 35 replica is totally driveable

Cannabis13 hours ago

What’s the Difference Between Marijuana CBD And Hemp CBD?

Publications13 hours ago

For Microsoft, TikTok could bring numerous problems that have been plaguing Facebook and Twitter for years

Cannabis13 hours ago

Texas Introduces New Hemp Product Licensing System, Rolls Out New Rules

Blockchain14 hours ago

Bitcoin Bulls Fight for Key Resistance as Analysts Target Rally to $14k

Blockchain14 hours ago

ArbiSmart: The Best Crypto Investment Opportunity of 2020-2021

AR/VR14 hours ago

Psychedelic VR Exhibition Terminus Comes to Oculus Rift

Blockchain14 hours ago

Bitcoin Cash short-term Price Analysis: 10 August

Trending