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HTTP compression continues to put encrypted communications at risk

Discussion in 'Network World' started by RSS, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. RSS

    RSS New Member Member

    Security researchers have expanded and improved a three-year-old attack that exploits the compression mechanism used to speed up browsing in order to recover sensitive information from encrypted Web traffic.

    The attack, known as BREACH, takes advantage of the gzip/DEFLATE algorithm used by many Web servers to reduce latency when responding to HTTP requests. This compression mechanism leaks information about encrypted connections and allows man-in-the-middle attackers to recover authentication cookies and other sensitive information.

    The BREACH (Browser Reconnaissance and Exfiltration via Adaptive Compression of Hypertext) attack was first presented at the Black Hat USA security conference in August 2013 by security researchers Angelo Prado, Neal Harris and Yoel Gluck. While it theoretically affects all SSL/TLS ciphers, their version of the attack was most effective against connections encrypted with stream ciphers, such as RC4.

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