Cryptanalyst Marc Stevens from the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, known for breaking the https security in 2008 using a cryptanalytic attack on MD5, analyzed the recent Flame virus this week. He discovered that for this spy malware an as yet unknown cryptographic attack variant of his own MD5 attack is used. Stevens analyzed this with new forensic software that he developed. Initially, the researcher assumed that Flame used his own attack, which was made public in June 2009, but this was not the case. “Flame uses a completely new variant of a ‘chosen prefix collision attack’ to impersonate a legitimate security update from Microsoft. The design of this new variant required world-class cryptanalysis,” says Marc Stevens. “It is very important to invest in cryptographic research, to continue to be ahead of these developments in practice.”
Additional Metadata
Keywords counter-cryptanalysis Flame MD5 attack
THEME Software (theme 1)
Project Cryptanalysis of Widely-used Hash Function Standards and Beyond
Grant This work was funded by the The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); grant id nwo/617.001.201 - Cryptanalysis of Widely-used Hash Function Standards and Beyond
Stevens, M.M.J, & Cramer, R.J.F. (2012). CWI cryptanalyst discovers new cryptographic attack variant in Flame spy malware.