Featured Articles

Apple iPad Air 2 costs $275 to build

Apple iPad Air 2 costs $275 to build

IHS has told Recode that the Apple iPad Air 2 16GB Wifi costs only $275 to build -- not bad…

More...
LG sells 16.8 million smartphones in Q3 14

LG sells 16.8 million smartphones in Q3 14

As Samsung is losing market share, another Korean company, which many had written off, is gaining.

More...
LG G Watch R EU price set at €299

LG G Watch R EU price set at €299

LG G Watch R is probably the best looking Android Wear device on the market and many have been waiting for…

More...
Nvidia GTX 970 SLI tested

Nvidia GTX 970 SLI tested

Nvidia recently released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture, with exceptional performance-per-watt. The Geforce GTX 970…

More...
Gainward GTX 970 Phantom previewed

Gainward GTX 970 Phantom previewed

Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:16

Hackers nick digital certificate

Written by Nick Farrell



Insecurity expert warns to be careful where you sign


Kaspersky Lab has discovered that a recently distributed Trojan, Mediyes, was digitally signed using a stolen private signature key whose digital certificate was owned by Swiss firm Conpavi AG.

According to John Grimm of Thales e-Security what the situation shows is how digitally signed code is assessed more favorably by anti-virus vendors from a risk perspective, so stealing the key and creating a perfectly valid signature on the code helps further promulgate the nefarious Trojan before it can be detected.

He said that whenever evidence surfaces such as this, we worry that people will incorrectly assume that the concepts of digital signatures and key management are flawed. The problem is not the concept; the problem is that those responsible for the keys and the digital signature process are not following standards of due care. If the keys are not afforded proper protection, it's easy to find them, steal them and create “valid” signatures over maliciously modified code.

He  advises companies never to allow anyone to come into possession of the full plain text of a private or secret key. While the circumstances in this situation are still to become clear, the private key was indeed somehow compromised, which means someone was able to access it in full plain text.

While not listed as a standard of due care, best practice suggests encryption keys should be protected in high assurance hardware-- not software-- since it's an absolute failsafe way to ensure the keys are not exposed outside the protected boundary of a certified, tamper-proof device. The lesson learned here, once the dust has settled, is to ensure that keys involved in code signing are protected in dedicated hardware as opposed to being stored on more vulnerable host computers.


Nick Farrell

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments