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Comodo Deactivates its Imperfect OCR, No More Fake Domains Processed

Two security investigators from Europe in an experimental way exploited the Comodo Internet site's backend mechanisms for acquiring one HTTPS certificate to register an URL that wasn't their own. The purpose for obtaining such a certificate was to make the false URL look like a genuine website and thereby let sensitive information, in particular, passwords get seized from the site's unwitting visitors via man-in-the-middle assaults.

Martin Kluge and Florian Heinz the researchers from Infosec observed that by utilizing OCR (optical character recognition), the CA processed issuing of certificates to people wanting them. The application, which is an image-recognition mechanism, has been created for making sure no one other than a domain's registered owner is issued the server-side certificate. Incidentally, an authentic domain-owner must prove he's the actual owner of his URL by going via a verification procedure by Comodo to which request for the SSL certificate is made for allowing HTTPS traffic.

Moreover, given that Comodo even now dominates the online market of SSL certificates for HTTPS traffic, the verification procedure is done in an automatic manner. The procedure involves dispatching one electronic mail to the person claiming to own the URL for confirming the request to obtain one SSL certificate was from his company. Softpedia.com posted this, October 21, 2016.

Apparently, for maintaining privacy on domains such as .be and .eu, the verification process is important. Also, contact details mustn't be allowed for getting scraped; therefore, a few registrars and registries don't let auto-generated messages from WHOIS extract e-mail ids. Instead, those are exhibited as text within a graphic which an individual can easily read, while no bot can extract.

However, Comodo generally uses automated WHOIS for the verification process of certificate applications.

The researchers' false URL story is currently being investigated at Mozilla. No matter that Comodo has resolved the reported issue; the certificate issuing site may end up troubled with Web-browser companies as it didn't inform about the issue during September last, the month it was resolved. Comodo tells the researchers got in touch with the website directly when the problem was confirmed and after which the website disabled its OCR mechanism.

» SPAMfighter News - 10/26/2016

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