New hacker exploit found

New vulnerability, called DUHK (Don’t use hard-coded keys) puts login credentials of cryptoexchange users at risk
26 October 2017   328

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University have discovered a new vulnerability that could be used to compromise encryption keys of websites. In a potential this vulnerability also puts in risk the registration data of users of cryptoexchanges. This is reported by the BitsOnline.

The vulnerability, which was called DUHK (Do not use hard-coded keys), was discovered by cryptographers Nadia Henninger, Shaan Koni and Matthew Green. Its source is called ANSI X9.31 RNG, a pseudo-random number generation algorithm (PRNG) that has been used in numerous online products for the last 30 years, including the creation of encryption keys for VPN connections and browser sessions containing credentials, payment information and other information.

As the researchers found that when hardware and software products use ANSI X9.31 and a hard-coded seed key, the attacker has the ability to decrypt data passing through a vulnerable device.

Also, the fault lies with the manufacturers, who often use the hard-coded seed key for ANSI X9.31. In normal circumstances, the seed key must be generated randomly each time the device starts or ANSI X9.31 itself.

In January 2016, the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), the agency responsible for developing computer security standards in the US, removed ANSI X9.31 RNG from its lists, citing as one of the reasons non-encryption-resistant encryption.

As the researchers say, before attacks DUHK FortiOS is vulnerable from version 4.3.0 to 4.3.18, There are more than 23,000 devices in the network on the network. FortiOS 5.x is not affected, while seed key from FortiOS code 4.3.19 has already been cleaned.

Researchers also note that although the DUHK attack is not so easy to implement, it is more than possible to apply it in practice. So, using DUHK, a modern computer is able to pick up the main encryption key in just four minutes.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Fortinet is not the only vulnerable producer. In their report, the specialists presented a list of products using ANSI X9.31 and hard-coded seed key. The list, in particular, includes solutions from Cisco and TechGuard.

List of products/vendors open to DUHK attacks
List of products/vendors open to DUHK attacks

The vulnerability is not aimed directly at users of crypto-exchange exchanges, but can be used by hackers to manipulate output to compromise encryption keys and use them to gain access to confidential user information, including registration data, bank account details, etc.

You can learn more at the official website.

Bank of China Filed a Patent to Scale Blockchain Systems

Bank of China has filed a patent application for a process able to scale blockchain systems  
23 February 2018   102

According to a document released by China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) on February 23, the application was invented by Zhao Shuxiang and first submitted on September 28 last year.

The application states that instead of letting a new block store transactions from its previous one, a data compressing system could be used to pack transactions from multiple blocks into what the patent calls a "data block."

For example, when the system receives a request to compress transactions from block 1 to 1,000, it causes a new data block to be formed and temporarily hosted on a different storage system. Then, the system will run the packed data through a hash function with a hash value. After that, the compression system will attach labels in order to identify blocks on the blockchain.

With the use of the described method, the patent claims a reduction in the amount of the data stored in new blocks as transactions mount in a blockchain while ensuring that data from all previous transactions will still be tamper-proof and traceable.

At the moment, the patent in the review process.