Verisign’s SSL Encryption Cracked: Online Shopping And Transactions Threatened

With the help of 200 PS3, an team of security researchers was able to break Versign’s SSL encryption. The cell processors in PS3 were very much capable of exploiting the SSL algorithm. The SSL encryption uses MD5 hashes to create a code and detect whether the data has been modified after it was transmitted. This way any hacker attack could be prevented. But the demonstration by the group showed how the power of improved hardware capabilities could be easily used to attack almost any trascation on the internet.

Using the hardware the group was able to create fake security certificates that behaved like the actual ones. The website demonstarated was RapidSSL. So now it’s time for websites to do away with MD5. But no need to worry as of now, the details of the attack are still with the researchers. It almost impossible for anybody to do such a attack even though the possiblity is not eliminated. With increased computing power like the CUDA, its possible.

What website should look for is changing their security to a more advanced level. We should hope that researchers create a more better encryption. There’s nothing that cannot be cracked, but improving the security level is the only way to stop the attacks. It time to take security seriously with such increased computing power. What we should do?? See to it the website has a valid security certificate. It is denoted by a yellow lock on your browser address bar.

So be awake with eyes wide open the next time you go shopping. So will you go for online shopping, online banking or any transactions now?? Of course you can.


Firefox 3

Firefox 3
Codenamed Gran Paradiso, Firefox 3 was released on 17 June 2008. It saw a record of 8.9 million downloads within 24 hours after its release. Powered by the Gecko 1.9 Engine, Firefox 3 uses less system resources and renders pages faster. It is the best browser available till date, with over 15,000 improvements as stated by Mozilla. Firefox 3 behaves as a native application depending on your operating system, unlike Firefox 2, which had same interface for all OS.

The startup time of Firefox 3 has been considerably reduced. The performance remains consistent even if large number of tabs are opened. Switching tabs is faster than previous versions. Firefox 3 is a very stable browser allowing you to use it for hours without failure. The memory leaks present in previous Firefox releases have been resolved. Firefox 3 relies on Google for malicious sites that can harm your system, or suspected forgery and phishing sites. Inclusion of Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer certificate support (EV SSL) adds another dimension to security provided by Firefox 3. It shows a green button when you visit a website with an EV SSL certificate, this enables checking of site owner’s ID, connection encryption.

Another feature of firefox is that it asks if it should save recent tabs for next session, an improvement over the previous versions that asked if it should close all the tabs. Before the RSS icon and after the URL is the new Star icon which on clicking once stores the page’s URL as a bookmark, on clicking twice you may store the bookmark in a new or existing folder.

The improved zoom in enlarges the whole page not just the text. A complete rearrangement of layout, controls, buttons, CSS design elements as well as images expressed in percentages scales takes place. The Add-ons manager has been improved with the integrated ability to browse, search, install extensions and themes from within the add-ons manager itself. The download manager can now resume pending or paused downloads, tell which site a particular download came from and show download statistics in the status bar. The password manager doesn’t pop-up, it just displays a ‘remember password’ notification at the top of the page.

The offline support feature enables offline access to your online content and web applications. This allows you to make changes offline and when you go online again, Firefox 3 synchronize any changes made. For those pressed by bandwidth limit like me who has a 1 GB download limit, there is an option to block pictures, which consume the largest bandwidth. It is also possible to block Java and JavaScript. Blocking JavaScript is a bad option though as it reduces functionality of many websites. But you may safely block Java, and enable it as and when required.

The best is that Firefox 3 is available in 45 different languages. There are several addons in Firefox to increase your productivity. Being an internet junkie, the one I keep an eye on frequently tracks my internet usage time. Other one shows the coding of the website etc. For more list of Addons to spice up your surfing, keep visiting this blog.

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