Cryptographic systems can be vulnerable to outside attacks beyond the well-known brute-force attacks. Cryptographic main weaknesses come in two forms: weaknesses within the algorithm itself and weaknesses with how they are implemented. The latter weaknesses are known as side-channel attacks.
Why Cryptosystems are Insecure?
Cryptosystems typically rely on random number generation to ensure that algorithms can’t be guessed or retrieved by outside forces. This keeps the system secure and guarantees that only authorized personnel can get into the system. This access is granted via a secret password/phrase or key that is only known to certain people. This key can be used to encrypt or decrypt data.
Yet, many systems fail this random number generation, leading to serious vulnerabilities and the possibility of an entire security collapse. Another issue is the security around handling a large number of secret keys or passwords and making sure that only the correct people have access to these.
Even if only the proper people have access to the keys, breaches may still occur. People are vulnerable to threats against their life, freedom and families.
These systems are also vulnerable to attacks by software programs or hackers. There are many different types of cryptographic attacks. To name a few:
- Dictionary attacks try to hack into the system using a list of compiled values to figure out passwords or secret keys.
- Timing attacks involve outside parties observing lags in computer execution and taking advantage of this vulnerability
- Chosen-plaintext attacks allow the hacker to access the ciphertexts by using random plaintext if the hacker has access to the encryption engine or can convince someone with access to encrypt the chosen plaintext.
- Cryptanalytic software involves different software programs used to crack encryptions. These software programs include everything from side-channel attacks to brute-force attacks to keygens.
What You Can Do
Cryptosystems require constant vigilance to ensure that they are safe from vulnerabilities and breaches. Administrators should take the following precautions to make sure that their systems are protected:
- Only provide access to secret keys to certain people – the fewer the better: Only people who really need access to these systems should have the keys.
- Review algorithms: Make sure that your system is not suffering from bad algorithm setup. Correct immediately if a problem is found.
- Verify that data is being encrypted properly: Administrators should determine if the system is encrypting the right data and not leaving certain important data unprotected.
- Hire a firm to test your security: iBeta offers security testing to determine where application and network vulnerabilities exist on your systems. Contact us today to learn more about our services.