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Off-path attacks against PKI

: Dai, Tianxiang; Shulman, Haya; Waidner, Michael


Lie, D. ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
CCS 2018, ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Proceedings : Toronto, Canada, October 15 - 19, 2018
New York: ACM, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4503-5693-0
Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) <2018, Toronto>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer SIT ()

The security of Internet-based applications fundamentally relies on the trustwortiness of Certificate Authorities (CAs). We practically demonstrate for the first time that even a very weak attacker, namely, an off-path attacker, can effectively subvert the trustworthiness of popular commercially used CAs. We demonstrate an attack against a COMODO CA which uses Domain Validation (DV) for authenticating domain ownership. The attack exploits DNS Cache Poisoning and tricks the CA into issuing fraudulent certificates for domains the attacker does not legitimately own namely certificates binding the attackers public key to a victim domain. We set up a demonstration of a live attack at