This has been a bad week for the secure socket layer and the news just keeps getting worse. Comodo provides around one out of every three SSL certs currently in use as they have, until now, had a stirling reputation and were a trusted provider. It turns out that this reputation may not be deserved seeing as how their Internet Security 2014 product ships with an application called Adtrustmedia PrivDog, which is enabled by default. Not only does this app install a custom root CA certificate which intercepts connections to websites to be able to insert customized ads like SuperFish does it can also turn invalid HTTPS certificates into valid ones. That means that an attacker can use PrivDog to spoof your banks SSL cert, redirect you to a fake page and grab your credentials, while all the time your browser reports a valid and secure connection to the site.
The only good news from The Register's article is that this specific vulnerability is only present in PrivDog versions 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 and so has limited distribution. The fact that this indicates the entire SSL certificate model is broken and even those who create the certs to assure your security feel that inserting a man in the middle attack into their software does not contravene their entire reason for existing is incredibly depressing.
Update: The Register's article was originally based on research from Hanno Bock who referred to PrivDog as being distributed by Comodo. Comodo does not distribute the standalone desktop version of PrivDog only the browser extension application which was never vulnerable to the TLS interception.
"The US Department of Homeland Security's cyber-cops have slapped down PrivDog, an SSL tampering tool backed by, er, SSL certificate flogger Comodo.
Comodo, a global SSL authority, boasts a third of the HTTPS cert market, and is already in hot water for shipping PrivDog."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD previews Carrizo APU, offers insights into power savings @ The Tech Report
- Amazon tries to patent 3D printers on trucks @ The Register
- Mozilla Firefox 36 is second major browser to bring HTTP/2 @ The Inquirer
- Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code @ The Register
- JEDEC publishes eMMC 5.1 standard @ DigiTimes
- Red Hat: Traditional virtualisation isn't going anywhere @ The Inquirer