[ISN] SSL vulnerability & Vendor reaction

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sat Jun 27 1998 - 14:45:33 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Vin McLellan <vinat_private>
    Fyi.  I think this is a better synopsis and report on the reactions from
    the multiple SSL vendors than the relevant CERT Advisory: CERT* Advisory
    CA-98.07, issued June 26, 1998, "Vulnerability in Some Usages of PKCS#1."
    The CERT advisory was mailed out by CERT, but doesn't seem to be yet
    available on the CERT website.
    "RSA Data Security Works With Internet
    Software Vendors to Respond to Potential
    Security Attack on Secure Web
    6/26/98 7:19
        SAN MATEO, Calif., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- RSA Data Security, Inc. today
    announced it is working with a group of leading Internet software vendors on
    pre-emptive countermeasures to thwart a newly-discovered potential attack
    against secure Web communications.  This vulnerability is currently the
    subject of research and has not been reported by any users.
        These countermeasures enhance the security of popular Internet server
    software products based on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.  The
    countermeasures are, or will be, available from respective vendors' Web sites,
    and include configuration guidelines, software updates where applicable and
    additional information.  Currently available vendor information may be found
    at the following sites:
        * C2Net Software, Inc.
        * Consensus Development Corporation
        * IBM Corporation
        * Lotus Development Corporation
        * Microsoft Corporation
        * Netscape Communications Corporation
        * Open Market, Inc.
        * RSA Data Security, Inc.
        RSA will also maintain an updated list of all vendors' countermeasure site
    links at its site. In addition, RSA has been working closely with the CERT
    Coordination Center on this problem. CERT has made a technical advisory on
    this vulnerability available at http://www.cert.org.
        These countermeasures address a potential vulnerability discovered by
    cryptographer Daniel Bleichenbacher of the Secure Systems Research Department
    of Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies.
    Bleichenbacher identified a cryptanalytic vulnerability that could potentially
    be used to discover the key for a particular encrypted session through a
    process of repeatedly sending on the order of one million carefully
    constructed messages to a target server and observing the server's response.
    Due to the large number of messages needed, the potential attack is detectable
    by network administrators.  Additional information is available on the Bell
    Labs Web site at http://www.bell-labs.com.
        The vulnerability affects interactive key establishment protocols that use
    the Public Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS) #1, including SSL.  The PKCS
    series of standards are defined by RSA Laboratories, reviewed by industry and
    have been adopted by many major vendors of information systems and
    incorporated in national and international standards.  The vulnerability does
    not apply to PKCS #1-based secure messaging protocols, such as Secure
    Electronic Transactions (SET) and Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension
    (S/MIME) because they are not susceptible to, or already implement mechanisms
    preventing this potential vulnerability.
        A technical overview of the attack and recommended countermeasures for
    installed SSL-based server software are available now on the RSA Labs Web site
    at http://www.rsa.com/rsalabs/.
        Software developers interested in testing their products for this
    potential vulnerability should visit RSA's site at http://www.rsa.com where
    they can find diagnostic instructions and prescriptive information for
    updating their applications.   In  July, RSA plans to provide developers using
    the company's BSAFE security suite with free software enhancements designed
    to eliminate this threat.
        RSA Laboratories plans to release for comment a draft PKCS #1 v2 in July
    following a revision process that began early in the year.
        RSA Data Security, Inc.
        RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics
    Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI), is a leading supplier of software
    components that secure electronic data, with more than 300 million copies of
    RSA encryption and authentication technologies installed worldwide.  RSA
    technologies are part of existing and proposed standards for the Internet and
    World Wide Web, ISO, ITU-T, ANSI, IEEE, and business, financial and electronic
    commerce networks around the globe.  RSA develops and markets platform-
    independent security components and related developer kits and provides
    comprehensive cryptographic consulting services.  RSA can be reached at
        All products and companies mentioned herein may be trademarks or
    registered trademarks of their respective holdings and are hereby
    SOURCE  RSA Data Security, Inc.
        -0-                             06/26/98
    CONTACT:  Patrick Corman, Corman Communications, 650-326-9648,
    Web site:  http://www.rsa.com/
    CO:  RSA Data Security, Inc.
    ST:  California
    IN:  CPR
          Vin McLellan + The Privacy Guild + <vinat_private>
      53 Nichols St., Chelsea, MA 02150 USA <617> 884-5548
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