Sliding Right attack (Libgcrypt ) Allows Recovery of RSA-1024 Keys


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A full key recovery for RSA-1024 and conceivably RSA-2048 might be possible according to an academic paper released last week. The said paper, titled: “Sliding right into disaster: Left-to-right sliding windows leak”, described a flaw  (CVE-2017-7526)  in the cryptographic library Libgcrypt that made it prone to local side-channel attack.

According to AO Kaspersky Lab, Libgcrypt, which is a general purpose cryptographic library originally based on code from GnuPG to provide functions for all cryptographic building blocks, uses left to right sliding windows exponentiation. This method, although common in cryptographic implementations and computes power, leaks a fractions of the exponent bits during process. Although it’s been assumed that the number of leaked bits will not be enough to carry out full key-recovery attack against RSA, the researchers explained that Libgcrypt’s employment of left-to-right sliding windows “leaks significantly more information about exponent bits than for right-to-left.”

The researchers utilized a Flush+Reload cache-timing attack on Libgcrypt’s exponentiation routine in order to successfully break the library’s implementation of RSA-1024. The Flush+Reload attacks, first described in 2014 by one of the paper’s authors along with a colleague at the University of Adelaide, target a vulnerability in Intel X86 processors and were successfully used before to harvest private encryption keys from programs running GnuPG 1.4.13.

In the paper, researchers first monitored shared memory locations for access and over time were able to form a trace of accesses to the monitored location. When the traces were analysed, researchers were able to detect a complete series of square-and-multiply sequences. These sequences were in turn used to recover the key.

This attack proved efficient for 13 percent RSA-2048 keys. Researchers implied that a tweak along with enough time and computational power will allow recovery of RSA-2048 just as easily.

Author and primary developer behind GnuPG, Werner Koch, wrote that there are easier ways than the method explained in the paper to access private keys especially as the proposed scenario involved execute access on the hardware where the private RSA key is used which is already considered a jeopardy. However, he also admitted that it can be used on hardware running multiple VMs; as a software running on one VM could use the attack to compromise private keys stored on another.

The authors contacted developers of the library while writing the paper and reported that the developers refused to push patches that uses fixed windows instead of sliding windows and deemed it as unnecessary. However, Koch announced on Thursday that the GnuPG Project would address CVE-2017-7526 in version 1.7.8.

Necessary patches to stop the attack soon followed on Friday as SUSE Linux was the first to resolve the issue in versions 1.6.1, 1.5.0, and 1.2.2. Developers with Debian promoted users to upgrade the vulnerable packages, pushing patches to prevent possible compromise. A security engineer for Ubuntu informed users of the issue and the update containing the fix was released on Monday.

The paper, authored by eight academics from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in Netherlands, the University of Illinois, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland, and the University of Adelaide — Daniel J. Bernstein, Joachim Breitner, Daniel Genkin, Leon Groot Bruinderink, Nadia Heninger, Tanja Lange, Christine van Vredendaal, and Yuval Yarom, is scheduled to be presented in Septemeber at the Conference on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems in Taiwan.

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ESET security researchers Dissect the Backdoor Used by NotPetya Operators


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What was first considered a ransomware attack turned into a much more complicated situation as researchers at the Slovakian security software firm ESET found a backdoor written into some software updates the Ukrainian M.E.Doc, the main source of infection breakout unleashed last week in Ukraine. According to a post by Security Week, ESET researchers had […]
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CopyCat malware Infected 14 million Android devices – Checkpoint


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Checkpoint researchers identified a mobile malware named Copycat found infected with more than 14 million Android devices worldwide. The infected devices are found to perform ad fraud and has helped hackers make more than $1.5 million in the past 60 days. Once the malware is infected, it tries to root the device allowing the bad […]
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classicetherwallet.com has been hijacked using social engineering from 1&1 host, Many users lost their Ethereum Classic(ETC) cryptocurrency


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Multiple users have reported to have lost their classic ether approx. $300,000 on reddit on June 29th and June 30th. An unknown hacker convinced 1&1 staff using social engineering techniques and got hold of https://www.myetherwallet.com/ and tricked the users sending money to the hacker wallet. The hacker tricked the users and redirected the main domain […]
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OceanLotus, an evolved version of backdoor seen on MacOS by Wildfire


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A new variant of the OceanLotus backdoor was detected by researchers in Palo Alto Networks in their recent WildFire cloud analysis platform. Paloalto’s Unit 42 reported that this new variant is developed by the same Vietnamese group who released its precedent in 2015 and is one of the most sophisticated backdoors seen in macOS to […]
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New Variant of Android Marcher as Adobe Flash Player Update.


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A new variant of the Marcher Android malware is disguising as an update for Adobe Flash Player to steal users’ financial credentials such as online banking and credit card details, according to Zscaler Threatlabz. Previously known to baiting users by exploiting pornographic websites and popular games to deliver payload, the malicious Marcher now resorts to […]
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Japanese’s Honda plants had to shutdown its production after getting hit by Wannacry Ransomware


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Last Monday was a day which will live in infamy for the automobile manufacturer Honda as the renowned Japanese company was forced to power down one of its domestic plants after the WannaCry ransomware found a way into the company’s network. The plant in question, located in Sayama an hour northwest of Tokyo, had an […]
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Petya Or NotPetya Ransomware creates a havoc all over the world – A step ahead of WanaCry with no kill switch


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Petya has impacted all over the world starting from pharmaceutical companies, oil gaints, airports, hospitals, ports and many banks. The method of infection is similar to Wannacry with leaked NSA EthernalBlue, (MS17-010) infected thousands of people including hospital networks. Petya differs from typical ransomware as it also overwrites and encrypts the master boot record (MBR) […]
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More than 800 Android Apps on Google Play potentially infected with Xavier Trojan – Trend


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Trend micro researchers have discovered a Android Trojan ad library named Xavier that steals user’s information without user knowledge. More than 800 Android apps which embedded the ad library appears to have infected with the malware. Xavier has self-protect mechanism that allows it to escape both static and dynamic analysis making it harder to detect. […]
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PLATINUM malware steals data using Intel’s Active Management Technology ( AMT) bpassing Windows Firewall


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Microsoft published an article about the exploitation of Intel’s AMT tools stealing government data for espionage purposes. The hack works independently of the Operating system which can bypass any windows firewall at the moment. The malware has been active since at least 2009 primarily responsible for spear phishing attacks on ISPs, government organizations, intelligence agencies, […]
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