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SSL

A 38-post collection

Everything you need to know about the POODLE SSL bug

We don’t seem to go far these days without the next “catastrophic” bug hitting the internets. Remember how a few weeks ago Shellshock was going to end the internet as we know it? If you believed all the headlines, that sucker was going to own us through our light globes (I suspect some poetic license was taken on my IoT comments) and the web would never be the same. Scroll forward and it’s already “Shell-what?” Earlier this year it was Heartbleed and it too was destined to bring the internet to its knees. Except it didn’t. Whilst I’ve no doubt a number of sites got well and truly...

Lessons in insecure SSL courtesy of Hoyts cinemas

Why do we bother with SSL? I mean what’s the risk that we’re trying to protect against by using certificate authorities and serving up traffic over HTTPS? Usually it’s men (or possibly even women) in the middle or in other words, someone sitting somewhere between the client and the server and getting their hands on the data. Do we all agree with this? Yes? Good, then why on earth would you possibly say this? This was in response to Robert kindly pointing out that their payment screen is not secured. Robert, of course, is entirely correct: Whoa – no padlock in the address bar! Oh no, wait, there it is down in the bottom...

Why have security on a vBulletin forum? Because it’s none of your business, that’s why!

I’m used to seeing short-sighted responses on Twitter when it comes to security, but admittedly this one took me by surprise: This was from a vBulletin “Tech Support Guy” as part of a thread about the security profile of the website MMO Champion, a World of Warcraft discussion site. This is a site that allows you to register with a username and password, store your date of birth (and hide it from public view), communicate privately with other registered users via the messaging system and of course being a vBulletin site, partake in the usual public forum activities. For this particular site, naturally there’s a lot of discussion about gaming. There’s the...

Everything you need to know about the Heartbleed SSL bug

Massive. Huge. Catastrophic. These are all headlines I’ve seen today that basically say we’re now well and truly screwed when it comes to security on the internet. Specifically though, it’s this: The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. Every now and then in the world of security, something rather serious and broad-reaching happens and we all run around like headless chicken wondering what on earth it means. Did the NSA finally “get us”? Is SSL dead? Is the sky falling? Well it’s bad, but not for everyone and quite possibly not as bad...

For your convenience, please disable security warnings

Let’s just start here: Allow me to provide a technical security perspective on this – it’s complete bullshit. More specifically, you’re seeing this because whoever designed the Smashwords site screwed up and embedded insecure content in a page loaded over a secure connection. So what does this look like? Here’s an example in Internet Explorer: But more importantly, what does it actually mean? Short answer: you can’t trust the page any more than you can trust any other page served over an insecure connection. The longer answer is that an asset has been embedded into a page loaded over HTTPS, but the reference to the asset is over HTTP. Now...

On getting Pineappled at Web Directions South

So I’ve just wrapped up another Web Directions presentation where the Pineapple has featured. The what now?! You know, the WiFi Pineapple, that little guy with the ability to do all sorts of nasty things to wireless traffic. Now I’ve Pineappled before, but I’ve never Pineappled quite like this and that’s all down to the Mark V which performed significantly better than the old IV when it comes to the act of Pineappling people. You can read the background on the device in the links above if it’s unfamiliar to you, let me give you an example of what I see in the Pineapple UI. Keeping in mind that the...

The complete guide to loading a free SSL certificate into an Azure website

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" Note: In this blog post I show how to load a certificate from StartCom into Azure. They've subsequently had some pretty serious issues related to WoSign and I would not recommend getting a StartSSL certificate any more. Instead, check out How to get your SSL for free on a Shared Azure website with CloudFlare; this approach is preferable in many ways. I write a lot about SSL, mostly in relation to people getting it wrong to various degrees or in some cases, not having it at all. You hear all sorts of excuses why: “Oh...

Unearthing the hidden shortcomings in Aussie mobile app security

Apparently the average number of apps someone has on their smartphone is 41. It sounds like a lot but do the maths on how long you’ve had the phone (or a predecessor) and it you realise it’s a pretty low frequency of taking something new from the app store. A significant proportion of these apps allow you to share sensitive personal information with them; your home address, phone number, email and password, for example. Or they provide features that result in cash changing hands such as online shopping. But how do you know which apps are securely handling this information? How, for example, do you know which of these employs a satisfactory security level? When you...

5 ways to tackle an insufficient HTTPS implementation

Earlier this year I wrote about 5 ways to implement HTTPS in an insufficient manner (and leak sensitive data). The entire premise of the post was that following a customer raising concerns about their SSL implementation, Top CashBack went on to assert that everything that needed to be protected, was. Except it wasn’t, at least not sufficiently and that’s the rub with SSL; it’s not about having it or not having it, it’s about understanding the nuances of transport layer protection and getting all the nuts and bolts of it right. Every now and then I write posts like that and every now and then the company involved doesn't do...

The security futility that is embedding secure login forms within insecure pages

I’ve been writing a bunch of content around HTTPS lately and recording videos to demonstrate the ease with which insecure implementations of SSL can be broken. For example, there was the piece on why you can’t trust SSL logos, then how loading login forms over HTTP but posting to HTTPS is pointless and most recently, why those mixed content warnings mean easy pickings for attackers on the transport layer. All of these involve working demonstrations against real sites who just don’t quite get HTTPS. Today’s example is about what happens when a login page is loaded securely, albeit embedded within an insecure page. This is a common security anti-pattern and you’...