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SSL Configuration Analysis API: 5 Cyber Threats It Can Protect You From

Posted on November 6, 2018

Conducting business over the Internet is all about trust. It's not like going on a blind date, but rather about making sure that you won't end up being harmed or disappointed. This entails conducting a background check, lots of verification, and, finally, securing valid certification by ensuring that the people you're dealing with are who they say they are and that your confidential data will be safe with them.

This process of authentication can be accomplished through SSL configuration analysis API, analyzing domains’ SSL connection — i.e., certificate validation, hostname validation, self-signed certificates, and more — and how it is configured to check for signs that can help businesses avoid cyber threats such as the 5 ones below.

SSL Configuration Analysis API: 5 Cyber Threats It Can Protect You From

Heartbleed Vulnerability

The Heartbleed bug poses a serious threat because it can steal a limitless amount of memory. It arises from the OpenSSL code's vulnerability and owes its name to the “Heartbeat extension” to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) where this vulnerability exists. This encryption weakness let hackers read the memory of a compromised system, spoof websites, and steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, usernames, tokens, and even private keys. Worse still, it leaves no apparent traces of malicious activity, making it difficult to determine whether a system has been compromised or not.

SSL configuration analysis API can warn businesses against the Heartbleed bug by verifying whether the Heartbeat extension is enabled as well as performing a Heartbleed vulnerability check. The latter allows verifying if the host's OpenSSL version is fixed, solving for the bug. Updating the OpenSSL certificate and generating new private cryptographic keys – all crucial to prevent attacks.

Poodle Attacks

POODLE stands for “Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption”. This bug forces browsers that support SSL to downgrade to the outdated SSL 3.0 encryption protocol where a security hole is exploited by a hacker to hijack browser sessions and decrypt sensitive transactions. And even if you try to use TLS, hackers could exploit the bug to keep you downgraded, and, therefore, open to attacks.

The Poodle vulnerability is particularly harmful if you are using SSL to connect to public Wi-Fi networks. It is a favorite hunting ground for attackers seeking to intercept confidential data and impersonate websites in order to hijack accounts without even needing victims' passwords.

You can use the SSL configuration analysis API to check if the TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV is supported by the host to protect against Poodle attacks. The vulnerability of being downgraded and open to attack can be addressed once and for all by making a timely update to new versions of TLS encryption.

Beast Attacks

BEAST is short for Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS. It's a vulnerability that targets the confidentiality of an HTTPS connection to gain access to the HttpOnly cookies and hijack the session. A BEAST attack can take place when there is a flaw in Java's Same Origin Policy, when there is network sniffing of the connection, and when an outdated version of SSL is used.

A successful attack allows a hacker to obtain real data exchanged between a web server and the web browser over HTTPS.

SSL configuration analysis API is a useful instrument that allows checking if the host supports vulnerable SSL protocols and can alert users about the Beast vulnerability. Protection from the bug is possible by setting the HttpOnly property on cookies. More importantly, an upgrade from a TLS/1.0 flaw is required within the browser.

Impersonation

An impersonation attack is a malicious practice of assuming the identity of an employee, a third party personality, or a business entity to steal money or confidential data. This type of cyber attack is becoming widespread and causing substantial financial losses.

Corporate employees are easily getting duped into providing sensitive information to hackers masquerading as trusted company vendors. Businesses are also suffering from the fallout as their online users are victimized — causing costly damage suits, pilfered funds, and ruined reputations.

The SSL configuration analysis API is helping organizations block this threat through hostname and certificate validation and HTTP Public Key Pinning Extension protocols. The API's availability across departments will enable employees to look up target websites and check for configurations that can warn them of impersonation attacks.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

A man-in-the-middle attack is a type of cyber attack where a hacker secretly intercepts and even alters the communication between two parties to take financial or confidential information. Hackers can take control of a public WiFi connection and have a field day snatching bank account details, passwords, credit card numbers, and login details – any information that can be used for financial or business gain.

SSL configuration analysis API can help alert businesses about man-in-the-middle attacks and provides insights on how to foil them notably by being wary of self-signed certificates, checking whether or not SSLv2 is supported, and that the public key certificates should not be present in the Debian blacklist as certificates generated on Debian Linux systems are weak and allow for MITM attacks.

SSL configuration analysis API is paving the way for a more secure business landscape in the face of cyber threats. Trusting its insights will lead to safer connections and better decisions.

If you want to learn more about how our APIs can help you mitigate online threats and ensure better security, contact us at support@threatintelligenceplatform.com or sign up for a free trial.

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