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SSL, HTTPS and the Lock Icon
Borrowed from Dan Boneh & others
Goals for this lecture
• Brief overview of HTTPS:
• How the SSL/TLS protocol works (very briefly)
• How to use HTTPS
• Integrating HTTPS into the browser
• Lots of user interface problems to watch for
2
Threat Model: Network Attacker
Network Attacker:
• Controls network infrastructure:
Passive attacker:
Routers, DNS
only eavesdrops on net traffic
Active attacker: eavesdrops, injects, blocks, and
modifies packets
Examples:
• Wireless network at Internet Café
• Internet access at hotels (untrusted ISP)
3
Reminder: Public-Key Encryption
Public-key encryption:
Alice
m
Enc
Bob
c
Dec
m
SKBob
PKBob
Bob generates
c
(SKBob , PKBob )
Alice: using PKBob encrypts messages
and only Bob can decrypt
4
Certificates
How does Alice (browser) obtain PKBob ?
Browser
Alice
Server Bob
choose
(SK,PK)
PKCA
CA
PK and
proof “I am Bob”
PKCA
check
proof
SKCA
issue Cert with SKCA :
verify
Cert
Bob’s
key is PK
Bob’s
key is PK
Bob uses Cert for an extended period (e.g. one year)
5
Certificates: example
Important fields:
6
Certificates on the web
Subject’s CommonName can be:
cs.stanford.edu
• An explicit name, e.g.
• A wildcard cert, e.g.
*.stanford.edu
or
, or
cs*.stanford.edu
matching rules:
“*” must occur in leftmost component, does not match “.”
example: *.a.com matches x.a.com but not y.x.a.com
(as in RFC 2818: “HTTPS over TLS”)
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Managing your certificates
Firefox: Tools > Options > Advanced > Certificates
Certificate Authorities
Browsers accept
certificates from a
large number of CAs
Top level CAs ≈ 60
Intermediate CAs ≈ 1200
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SSL/TLS
SSL/TLS: the cryptographic protocol in HTTPS
Establish a session
• Agree on algorithms
• Share secrets
• Perform authentication
Transfer application data
• Ensure privacy and integrity
11
Handshake
• Negotiate Cipher-Suite Algorithms
• Symmetric cipher to use
• Key exchange method
• Message digest function
• Establish and share master secret
• Optionally authenticate server and/or client
12
Brief overview of SSL/TLS
server
browser
client-hello
cert
server-hello + server-cert (PK)
SK
key exchange (several options)
rand. k
client-key-exchange: E(PK, k)
k
Finished
HTTP data encrypted, Symmetric cipher(k)
Most common:
server authentication only
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ClientHello
ClientHello
Client announces (in plaintext):
• Protocol version he is running
• Cryptographic algorithms he supports
C
S
ClientHello (RFC)
Highest version of the protocol
supported by the client
struct {
ProtocolVersion client_version;
Random random;
Set of cryptographic algorithms
SessionID session_id;
supported by the client (e.g.,
RSA or Diffie-Hellman)
CipherSuite cipher_suites;
CompressionMethod
compression_methods;
} ClientHello
Client Hello - Cipher Suites
SSL_NULL_WITH_NULL_NULL = { 0, 0 }
PUBLIC-KEY
ALGORITHM
SYMMETRIC
ALGORITHM
INITIAL (NULL) CIPHER SUITE
HASH
ALGORITHM
SSL_RSA_WITH_NULL_MD5 = { 0, 1 }
CIPHER SUITE CODES USED
IN SSL MESSAGES
SSL_RSA_WITH_NULL_SHA = { 0, 2 }
SSL_RSA_EXPORT_WITH_RC4_40_MD5 = { 0, 3 }
SSL_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_MD5 = { 0, 4 }
SSL_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_SHA = { 0, 5 }
SSL_RSA_EXPORT_WITH_RC2_CBC_40_MD5 = { 0, 6 }
SSL_RSA_WITH_IDEA_CBC_SHA = { 0, 7 }
SSL_RSA_EXPORT_WITH_DES40_CBC_SHA = { 0, 8 }
SSL_RSA_WITH_DES_CBC_SHA = { 0, 9 }
SSL_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA = { 0, 10 }
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ServerHello
Versionc, suitec, Nc
ServerHello
C
Server responds (in plaintext) with:
• Highest protocol version supported by
both client and server
• Strongest cryptographic suite selected
from those offered by the client
Server selects the protocol version
and the crypto algorithms
S
ServerKeyExchange
Versionc, suitec, Nc
Versions, suites, Ns,
ServerKeyExchange
C
Server sends his public-key certificate
containing either his RSA, or
his Diffie-Hellman public key
(depending on chosen crypto suite)
S
ClientKeyExchange
Versionc, suitec, Nc
Versions, suites, Ns,
sigca(S,Ks),
“ServerHelloDone”
C
ClientKeyExchange
S
Client generates some secret key material
and sends it to the server encrypted with
the server’s public key (if using RSA)
Client selects what will become the secret session key
What is Authenticated in SSL ? #1
• Server’s PK provided as a Cert signed by CA
• Browser has CA’s public key
• Verified signature  Trust the server’s PK
• But does the server hold the matching SK ?
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What is Authenticated in SSL? #2
•
•
•
•
Browser’s secret random k encrypted by PK
Server decrypts k
Browser & server derive shared secret key
All subsequent messages are encrypted
• With symmetric cipher, e.g. RC4
• If browser decrypts successfully
Server got the correct k
Server had the SK matching the Cert
Server is authenticated
• Client is NOT authenticated: usually has to
login (through the encrypted channel)
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Version Rollback Attack
Versionc=2.0, suitec, Nc
Server is fooled into thinking he
is communicating with a client
who supports only SSL 2.0
C
Versions=2.0, suites, Ns,
sigca(S,Ks),
“ServerHelloDone”
S
{Secretc}Ks
C and S end up communicating using SSL 2.0
(weaker earlier version of the protocol that
does not include “Finished” messages)
Fixed in SSL v3.0
“Chosen-Protocol” Attacks
• Why do people release new versions of
security protocols? Because the old version
got broken!
• New version must be backward-compatible
Not everybody upgrades right away
• Attacker can fool someone into using the old,
broken version and exploit known vulnerability
Similar: fool victim into using weak crypto algorithms
• Defense is hard: must authenticate version
early
• Many protocols had “version rollback” attacks
SSL, SSH, GSM (cell phones)
HTTPS in the Browser
The lock icon:
SSL indicator
Intended goal:
• Provide user with identity of page origin
• Indicate to user that page contents were not
viewed or modified by a network attacker
In reality:
• Origin ID is not always helpful
example: Stanford HR is hosted at BenefitsCenter.com
• Many other problems (next few slides)
25
When is the (basic) lock icon displayed
• All elements on the page fetched using HTTPS
(with some exceptions)
• For all elements:
• HTTPS cert issued by a CA trusted by browser
• HTTPS cert is valid (e.g. not expired)
• CommonName in cert matches domain in URL
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The lock UI: Extended Validation (EV) Certs
• Green background or text in browser URL
• Harder to obtain than regular certs
• requires human lawyer at CA to approve cert request
• Designed for banks and large e-commerce sites
27
A general UI attack: picture-in-picture
Trained users are more likely to fall victim to this
[JSTB’07]
28
HTTPS and login pages: the bad way
Users often land on
login page over HTTP:
• Type site’s HTTP URL
into address bar, or
• Google links to the
HTTP page
View source:
<form method="post"
action="https://onlineservices.wachovia.com/..."
HTTPS and login pages: guidelines
General guideline: never show a login screen via http
• Response to
should be
http://login.site.com
Redirect: https://login.site.com
Problems with HTTPS and the Lock Icon
1. HTTP  HTTPS upgrade
Common use pattern:
• browse site over HTTP; move to HTTPS for checkout
• connect to bank over HTTP; move to HTTPS for login
Easy attack: prevent the upgrade (ssl_strip)
HTTP
[Moxie’08]
SSL
attacker

Location: https://...

<form action=https://… > 
<a href=https://…>
web
server
<a href=http://…>
Location: http://...
<form action=http://…>
(redirect)
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Tricks and Details
Tricks:
drop-in a clever fav icon (older browsers)

Details:
• Erase existing session and force user to login:
ssl_strip injects “Set-cookie” headers to delete
existing session cookies in browser.
Number of users who detected HTTP downgrade:
0
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2. Semantic attacks on certs
International domains: xyz.cn
• Rendered using international character set
• Observation: Chinese character set contains chars
that look like “/” and “?” and “.” and “=”
Attack: buy domain cert for *.badguy.cn
setup domain called:
www.bank.com/accounts/login.php?q=me.baguy.cn
note:
single cert
*.badguy.cn
works for all sites
Extended validation (EV) certs may help defeat this
34
[Moxie’08]
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3. Certificate Issuance Woes
Wrong issuance:
2011: Comodo and DigiNotar RAs hacked, issue certs for
Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, …
Rogue CA:
 2009: Etisalat CA in UAE
Signs software patch on behalf of RIM
 PacketForensics: HTTPS MiTM for law enforcement
(see also crypto.stanford.edu/ssl-mitm )
⇒ enables eavesdropping w/o a warning in user’s browser
36
Man in the middle attack using rogue certs
GET https://bank.com
ClientHello
BadguyCert
attacker
BankCert
ClientHello
bank
ServerCert (Bank)
ServerCert (rogue)
(cert for Bank by a valid CA)
SSL key exchange
k1
SSL key exchange
k1
HTTP data enc with k1
k2
k2
HTTP data enc with k2
Attacker proxies data between user and bank.
Sees all traffic and can modify data at will.
37
What to do?
1. HTTP public-key pinning,
(many good ideas)
TACK
• Let a site declare CAs that can sign its cert
• on subsequent HTTPS, browser rejects certs for site
issued by other CAs
• TOFU: Trust on First Use
2. Certificate Transparency: [LL’12]
• idea: CA’s must advertise a log of all certs. they issued
• Browser will only use a cert if it is on the CA’s log
• Efficient implementation using Merkle hash trees
• Companies can scan logs to look for invalid issuance
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4. Mixed Content: HTTP and HTTPS
Page loads over HTTPS, but contains content over HTTP
(e.g. <script src=“http://.../script.js> )
Active network attacker can hijack session
• Modifies script en-route to browser
Another way to embed content:
<script src=“//.../script.js>
served over the same protocol as embedding page
• Can use for content served over HTTP or HTTPS
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Mixed Content: HTTP and HTTPS
IE7:
Chrome:
No SSL lock in address bar:
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5. Peeking through SSL
Network traffic reveals length of HTTPS packets
• TLS supports up to 256 bytes of padding
AJAX-rich pages have lots and lots of
interactions with the server
These interactions expose specific
internal state of the page
BAM!
Chen, Wang, Wang, Zhang, 2010
Peeking through SSL: an example
Vulnerabilities in an online tax application
No easy fix.
Can also be used to ID Tor traffic
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THE END
6. Origin Contamination: an example
Solution: remove lock from top page after loading bottom page
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Integrating SSL/TLS with HTTP  HTTPS
web
proxy
Two complications
• Web proxies
solution: browser sends
web
server
corporate network
CONNECT domain-name
before client-hello
(dropped by proxy)
• Virtual hosting:
two sites hosted at same IP address.
client-hello
server-cert ???
solution in TLS 1.1: SNI
(RFC 4366)
client_hello_extension: server_name=cnn.com
implemented since FF2 and IE7 (vista)
web
server
certCNN
certFOX
Why is HTTPS not used for all web traffic?
• Slows down web servers
• Breaks Internet caching
• ISPs cannot cache HTTPS traffic
• Results in increased traffic at web site
• Incompatible with virtual hosting (older browsers)
May. 2013: IE6 ≈ 7%
(ie6countdown.com)
The lock UI:
helps users authenticate site
uninformative
Problems with HTTPS and the Lock Icon
1. Upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS
2. Semantic attacks on certs
3. Forged certs
4. Mixed content
•
HTTP and HTTPS on the same page
5. Origin contamination
•
Weak HTTPS page contaminates stronger HTTPS page
6. Does HTTPS hide web traffic?
48
Defense: Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
Strict-Transport-Security max-age=31⋅106;
web
server
Header tells browser to always connect over HTTPS
• After first visit, subsequent visits are over HTTPS
• self signed cert results in an error
• STS flag deleted when user “clears private data” (chrome)
• Compromise: security vs. privacy
49

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