Security hole found in open-source encryption program
Gnu Privacy Guard is a version of the PGP encryption program
IDG News Service - Developers of the open-source GnuPG encryption software have reported a security flaw that could allow an attacker to sneak malicious code into a signed e-mail message.
GnuPG, or Gnu Privacy Guard, is an open-source version of the PGP encryption program used to encrypt data and creating digital signatures. It's included with several versions of Linux as well as FreeBSD, and is also used widely used by the IT security industry.
The vulnerability allows an attacker to take a signed message and insert additional code, which then appears to the recipient as if it were part of the digitally signed content.
"Someone who's able to intercept the message as it's transmitted could inject some data, and then the person who verifies the signature would be told it's a valid, unaltered message," said Thomas Kristensen, chief technology officer at security vendor Secunia in Copenhagen.
"That's one of the main purposes of the program, so it's quite significant," he added.
The attacker could potentially alter a text file, like a business contract, or an executable file attached to the message, he said. Secunia ranked the flaw as "moderately critical."
It affects all versions of GnuPG prior to 188.8.131.52, and users are advised to upgrade at once to that release. More information is on the GnuPG Web site.
The GnuPG team uncovered the flaw while testing the patch for a previous vulnerability reported last month. That flaw could have led to false positives when verifying signature files. Upgrading to the 184.108.40.206 release fixes that problem as well, the group said.
GnuPG is "fairly widely used among certain communities," although most people today probably use the encryption features in Microsoft Windows, Kristensen said.
The two recent security holes are unlikely to damage GnuPG's credibility, he said.
"People know it's still sound in the way it was designed and programmed, most people would consider this a minor oversight that's been corrected in a way you'd expect from a serious open-source project like GPG," Kristensen said.
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- Cybersecurity Imperatives: Reinvent your Network Security The Rise of CyberSecurity
- Surescripts Case Study- Securing Keys and Certificates Surescripts implemented Venafi's Trust Protection Platform™ to secure digital keys and certificates, ensure the privacy and confidentiality of electronic clinical information for its...
- Ponemon 2014 SSH Security Vulnerability Report According to research by the Ponemon Institute, 3 out of 4 enterprises have no security controls in place for SSH which leaves organizations...
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.
- Deep Dive into Advanced Networking and Security with Hybrid Cloud Security and networking are among the top concerns when moving workloads to the cloud. VMware vCloud® Hybrid Service™ enables you to extend your... All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!