OpenSSL vulnerabilities: the Heartbleed Bug and Cupid

Andrei-Sorin Jerca

Abstract


In this paper we expose the importance of information security in today's context of fast technological evolution. Our main objective is to study one of the most recent security issue, discovered in the well-known OpenSSL cryptographic software library, named “the Heartbleed Bug”. This is a serious vulnerability of the Heartbeat Extension for the transport layer security protocols (TLS/DTLS) implementation in OpenSSL. This weakness allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information (secret keys used for X.509 certificates, user credentials, instant messages, emails and other critical documents and communication) for applications such as web, email, instant messaging and some virtual private networks, which should be protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption. Further, “Cupid”, shows that the bug can be used, with the same effect, against any device which implies Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) authentication mechanisms and a vulnerable version of OpenSSL. In addition we present guidelines, fixes and methods for preventing and managing possible attacks against vulnerable systems.

Keywords


Buffer Overflow, OpenSSL, Heartbeat Extension, EAP, The Heartbleed Bug, Cupid, Ethical Hacking Exercise

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References


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Journal of Mobile, Embedded and Distributed Systems (JMEDS) ISSN: 2067 – 4074 (online)