Throwback Thursday: Hash Woes

Posted by   Helen Martin on   Mar 10, 2016

Just last week, VB Editor Martijn Grooten addressed an audience at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on the topic of cryptographic protocols that have supposedly been broken in recent years, including the SHA-1 hash function which is considered all but broken.

Back in 2004, the entire crypto community was abuzz with the astonishing news that a group of Chinese researchers had demonstrated a hash collision in the widely used MD5 hash function.

Throwback-Thursday-VB.jpg

In October 2004, VB's Technical Editor, Morton Swimmer, and his colleague Jonathan Poritz took a closer look at the situation, providing a background to the use of hash functions, the breaking of MD4 and the downfall of MD5, and considering what lessons could be drawn from the incident.

Interestingly, they did suggest that "applications like SSL may [...] be secure enough" against collision attacks, because creating a fake but valid certificate is many times more complicated than creating a collision. A fake SSL certificate was successfully created during the Chaos Communication Congress in 2008 and in 2012 it was found that the Flame malware had used this to fake Microsoft's digital signature.

The full 'Hash Woes' report can be read here in HTML format or downloaded here as a PDF.

 

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Throwback Thursday: Giving the EICAR test file some teeth

The 68-byte EICAR test file plays as important a role today as it did 19 years ago. In this week's Throwback Thursday we look back at a VB99 conference paper in which Randy Abrams described how the use of this 'miracle tool' could help enhance your…

XMRig used in new macOS cryptominer

A new piece of cryptocurrency-mining malware on macOS has been found to use the popular XMRig miner.

Tendency for DDoS attacks to become less volumetric fits in a wider trend

CDN provider Cloudflare reports an increase in DDoS attacks targeting layer 7 and focusing on exhausting server resources rather than sending large volumes of data. This fits in a wider trend.

Turkish Twitter users targeted with mobile FinFisher spyware

Through fake social media accounts, users were tricked into installing an Android application that was actually a mobile version of the FinFisher spyware.

Hide'n'Seek IoT botnet adds persistence

The Hide'n'Seek IoT botnet has received an update to make its infection persist on infected devices beyond a restart.