Forged security certificate allows hackers to target Google users' conversations

   Aug 31, 11:14 am

London, Aug 31 (ANI): Security researchers have reportedly found a forged Internet security certificate that allows hackers to spy on Google users' private emails and communications.

The forgery was first reported by an Iranian web user, which has raised concerns that it may be part of efforts by the Tehran government to monitor dissidents.

The 'man in the middle' attack also further undermines general confidence in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a security protocol used to authenticate all kinds of sensitive Internet traffic, including online banking, the Telegraph reports.

According to the report, DigiNotar, a Dutch SSL certificate authority, issued the forgery to the unknown attackers on July 10.

This certificate would have allowed hackers to setup fake copies of Google websites that appeared genuine to the majority of users, and collect login information for all of the company's services, including Gmail.

Today Vasco, DigiNotar's parent company, admittred in a statement that it had also been hacked, and that it issued more than one forged certificate as a result.

"On July 19th 2011, DigiNotar detected an intrusion into its certificate authority infrastructure, which resulted in the fraudulent issuance of public key certificate requests for a number of domains, including Google.com," it said.

"At that time, an external security audit concluded that all fraudulently issued certificates were revoked. Recently, it was discovered that at least one fraudulent certificate had not been revoked at the time," it added. (ANI)

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