The BREACH attack from several years ago has been updated by security researchers. How is this new BREACH attack...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
different, and can it be used to hack Gmail accounts?
As with other areas of applied security research, researchers build on prior exploit research to improve defensive and offensive techniques. Some research is more theoretical or requires researchers to study it in depth, in order to improve the techniques implemented in practical applications. This is particularly true in cryptographic research, where attacks initially categorized as purely theoretical and low risk can become practical attacks, with changes in performance or other breakthroughs.
The updated BREACH attack by Dimitrios Karakostas, a software engineer at Nokia and cryptography researcher, and Dionysis Zindros, a cryptography PhD candidate at the University of Athens, is named Rupture, and it continues to advance the cryptographic attacks on Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS has incorporated significant cryptographic improvements over its predecessor, SSL, and has undergone significant cryptanalysis since it was introduced. Rupture is a practical implementation of the BREACH attack and it includes an attack framework for attacking other protocols using TLS. Rupture uses HTTP injection to perform a man-in-the-middle attack to analyze the HTTP traffic supported by a client web app running on the target's web browser, which communicates to a server where the data is analyzed.
For organizations that use Gmail or Facebook, this is still low risk. It could be used in targeted attacks, but there are many other faster attacks that would be used to hack Gmail accounts prior to this attack.
The researchers recommend using first-party cookies, but currently first-party cookies have only been proposed in a request for comments. First-party cookies have not been implemented in any web browsers or included in web services. The authors have several other recommendations, with the most practical defense being rate limiting connections. Rate limiting connections could have several other benefits for mitigating other types of attacks. Given the significant number of connections needed as part of a BREACH attack, rules could be set up in the intrusion-detection system or a host-based detection system that is alerted when there are a significant number of connections coming from an individual system.
Learn how to handle press after your enterprise has been hacked
Look into microsegmentation for secure communications
Find out how intrusion detection systems can protect vulnerable assets
Dig Deeper on Email and Messaging Threats-Information Security Threats
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
An Apache Struts vulnerability is still being exploited, even though it has already been patched. Expert Nick Lewis explains why the Struts platform ...continue reading
A revamped Poison Ivy RAT campaign has been using new evasion and distribution techniques. Expert Nick Lewis explains the new attack methods that ...continue reading
Fileless malware hidden in server memory led to attacks on many companies worldwide. Expert Nick Lewis explains how these attacks fit in with the ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.