Tag Archives: hash function

A Simple Vulnerability Found in… Lots of Stuff

(Since this blog is read by a lot of poker players, it’s probably a good idea to mention right away that I don’t know of any way that this vulnerability could affect poker client software.)

My friend Thomas Bakker recently showed me an amazing (and hour-long) video from the recent Chaos Communication Congress, which is essentially a conference in which various hackers get together and laugh at the current state of computer security implementations. These types of things are very helpful for people trying to improve security, but of course, they’re also absolutely terrifying. Most of the scary stuff discusses specific vulnerabilities that are unique to a device or piece of software. (Here, for example, is a short video showing a man-in-the-middle attack that works against every iPhone 3G.)

Those things are freaky enough. However, Alexander Klink and Julian Wälde (a penetration tester and a student respectively) demonstrated a much much more general attack. Instead of targeting the specific security implementations of one particular piece of software or device, their attack targets the programming languages that almost all major websites use: PHP, Java, ASP.NET, and Python amongst others. Basically every modern website on the internet uses these, including, for example, Facebook, Twitter, Two Plus Two, Subject: Poker, the New York Times website, YouTube, this blog, Wikipedia, Gmail, whitehouse.gov, and cia.gov.
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