E-commerce security flaw found

2012-02-16 14:00
San Francisco - Researchers on Wednesday revealed a flaw in the way data is scrambled to protect the privacy of online banking, shopping and other kinds of sensitive exchanges.

A program used to generate random number sequences for encrypting digital information worked properly 99.8% of the time, meaning that two out of every 1 000 "keys" wouldn't thwart crooks or spies, the report warned.

"We found that the vast majority of public keys work as intended," said a report based on work by a team of US and European researchers led by Arjen Lenstra of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).

"A more disconcerting finding is that two out of every 1 000 RSA moduli that we collected offer no security."

Online rights champion Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) supplied key data for the research, and said that Lenstra's team found tens of thousands of keys that essentially failed to guard data in supposedly encrypted online sessions.

"The consequences of these vulnerabilities are extremely serious," the EFF's Dan Auerbach and Peter Eckersley said in a blog post.

"In all cases, a weak key would allow an eavesdropper on the network to learn confidential information, such as passwords or the content of messages, exchanged with a vulnerable server."

Hackers could also pose as trusted websites, such as an online bank, in what are referred to as man-in-the-middle attacks, according to the EFF.

The non-profit EFF said it is working "around the clock" with EPFL to warn operators of computer servers using encryption keys offering no protection.
- SAPA
Read more on:    e-commerce  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.