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
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

The spam that is hardest to block is often the most damaging

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Worryingly, it is often the emails with a malicious attachment or a phishing link that are most likely to be missed.

Throwback Thursday: We're all doomed

Mydoom turns 15 this month, and is still being seen in email attachments. This Throwback Thursday we look back to March 2004, when Gabor Szappanos tracked the rise of W32/Mydoom.

VB2019 call for papers - now open!

Have you analysed a new online threat? Do you know a new way to defend against such threats? Are you tasked with securing systems and fending off attacks? The call for papers for VB2019 is now open and we want to hear from you!

VB2018 paper: Unpacking the packed unpacker: reversing an Android anti-analysis library

Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Google researcher Maddie Stone in which she looks at one of the most interesting anti-analysis native libraries in the Android ecosystem. We also release the recording of Maddie's presentation.

VB2018 paper: Draw me like one of your French APTs – expanding our descriptive palette for cyber threat actors

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Chronicle researcher Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, who argues we should change the way we talk about APT actors.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.