Dan Goodin at El Reg has presented a wonderful analysis of Secure Socket Layers (SSL) and how broken and hackable SSL is. SSL has been compromised recently in the RSA hack, and the study exposes the very causes of the broken implementations of SSL and its inherent weaknesses. The article is a must read, here is an excerpt from the original article -
Every year or so, a crisis or three exposes deep fractures in the system that's supposed to serve as the internet's foundation of trust. In 2008, it was the devastating weakness in SSL, or secure sockets layer, certificates issued by a subsidiary of VeriSign. The following year, it was the minting of a PayPal credential that continued to fool Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari browsers more than two months after the underlying weakness was exposed.
And in 2010, it was the mystery of a root certificate included in Mac OS X and Mozilla software that went unsolved for four days until RSA Security finally acknowledged it fathered the orphan credential.
This year, it was last month's revelation that unknown hackers broke into the servers of a reseller of Comodo, one of the world's most widely used certificate authorities, and forged documents for Google Mail and other sensitive websites. It took two, seven and eight days for the counterfeits to be blacklisted by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and IE respectively, meaning users of those browsers were vulnerable to unauthorized monitoring of some of their most intimate web conversations during that time.
Read the full article here