About 10% of the world’s servers could be vulnerable to a new POODLE attack campaign repurposed to target TLS, according to security experts.
The POODLE attack revealed by Google in October worked when hackers with full control of a network from client to server were able to force a “fallback” to the less secure SSL 3.0 encryption protocol and decrypt the victim’s HTTPS traffic using a “padding oracle” technique.
However, "Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption," to give it its full name, was virtually eliminated as browser vendors like Google disabled SSL 3.0, largely shutting down that particular attack vector.
The latest threat is easier to exploit than the ones spotted in October because it doesn’t require the hacker to force a downgrade to SSL 3.0 first – instead it targets the TLS 1.2 encryption standard.
“If you recall, SSL 3 doesn’t require its padding to be in any particular format (except for the last byte, the length), opening itself to attacks by active network attackers,” wrote Qualys director of application security research, Ivan Ristic.
“However, even though TLS is very strict about how its padding is formatted, it turns out that some TLS implementations omit to check the padding structure after decryption. Such implementations are vulnerable to the POODLE attack even with TLS.”
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