Crypto Bug Opens Up Linux Apps To Eavesdropping



Ars Technica is reporting that hundreds of linux open source packages could be affected by a new Crypto Bug even going as far as to say. “This GnuTLS bug is worse than the big Apple “goto fail” bug patched last week”. This is the second time in a week a major OS is experiencing these types of bugs. Here’s what Dan Gooding of Ars Technica had to say.

Dan Gooding

The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers.

The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to the extremely critical “goto fail” flaw that for months put users of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have sincepatched the bug.

“It was discovered that GnuTLS did not correctly handle certain errors that could occur during the verification of an X.509 certificate, causing it to incorrectly report a successful verification,” anadvisory issued by Red Hat warned. “An attacker could use this flaw to create a specially crafted certificate that could be accepted by GnuTLS as valid for a site chosen by the attacker.”  READ MORE HERE

We’re fast becoming a planet dependent on technology and these incidents are only going to compound. Let’s hope the good guys are up to the task in catching these things before the bad guys take advantage. What do you think about the Crypto Bug and the Apple bug? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Ars Technica

UPDATE: Looks like Debian has already patched the flaw, read more HERE.

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