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 newsletter!

Or
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

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?