Stupid encryption mistakes criminals make

By October 20, 2016Bitcoin Business

Credit: TheDigitalWay via pixabay Writing secure code can be challenging, and implementing cryptography correctly in software is just plain hard. Even experienced developers can get tripped up. And if your goal is to swindle people quickly, not to wow them with the quality of your software, there are sure to be serious crypto mistakes in your code. Malware authors may provide significant lessons in how not to implement cryptography. Such was the upshot of research by Check Point’s Yaniv Balmas and Ben Herzog at the recent Virus Bulletin conference in Denver. Malware authors may be more likely to insert crypto doozies in their code than developers working on legitimate software because they may not care as much about code quality or design, said Balmas and Herzog. These criminals are focused on getting a product that does enough to satisfy their immediate requirements — and no more. [ Also on InfoWorld: 19 open source GitHub projects for security pros . | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld’s Security newsletter . ] Here’s a look at the crypto mistakes of recent malware headliners — and how to identify similar missteps in future malware scripts in hopes of cracking their malicious code. Fuzzy-headed thinking on crypto Mistakes are inevitable when you have only a “fuzzy understanding of the details” and a very tight time frame. Analyzing the work of malware authors, Balmas and Herzog identified four “anti-patterns,” when it came to implementing encryption, including voodoo programming, cargo cult technique, reinventing the square wheel, and bluffing. Defenders who uncover hints of these categories of mistakes can break the encryption and hinder malware execution, or they can uncover its secrets via reverse-engineering. “These are basic misunderstandings of how to use cryptographic tools properly, which at best broadcast, ‘I have no idea what […]

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