OpenSSL patches a severe but not widespread problem

In some instances, OpenSSL will reuse prime numbers

The OpenSSL project has patched a problem in the cryptographic library but one that likely does not affect many popular applications.

OpenSSL enables SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption. Most websites use it, which is indicated in Web browsers with a padlock symbol.

It's an open-source library that is widely used in applications for secure data transfers. After serious vulnerabilities were found in OpenSSL over the last couple of years, the application has been under much scrutiny by security researchers.

The latest vulnerability affects versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2. The updated versions are 1.0.2f and 1.0.1r.

In some cases, OpenSSL reuses prime numbers when using the Diffie-Hellman protocol, which could allow an attacker to possibly crack the encryption.

There are some mitigating factors. An attacker would have to complete multiple handshakes with the computer he or she is trying to compromise.

However, the option that reuses prime numbers is not on by default, and most applications likely are not at risk if that option has not been changed, according to the advisory.

OpenSSL underpins two of the most widely used Web servers, Apache and nginx. The code library is also used to protect email servers, chat servers, virtual private networks and other networking appliances.

The discovery of an alarming flaw called Heartbleed in April 2014 prompted a wide examination of OpenSSL. An audit was launched with the aim of eliminating years-old but unknown flaws.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityOpenSSL Project

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?