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TUCoPS :: Crypto :: ccc.htm

Computer Associates' CCC\Harvest 5.0 weak encryption



Vulnerability

    CCC\Harvest

Affected

    Computer Associates' CCC\Harvest 5.0

Description

    Richard Scott (Zero  Tolerance Technologies (T)  Security Advisory
    ZTT-SA01-27032001) found following  with CCC\Harvest v5.0  running
	on NT\2000, could also apply to other platforms and versions.

    CCC Harvest is a  tool that is used  to audit and maintain  access
    control to  source code.   If the  security mechanism  is  broken,
    source code can  be modified and  downloaded with little  audit to
    trail.

    CCC Harvest has an authentication model that uses TCP to  transmit
    the security credentials  to the server  for authentication.   The
    encryption  method  used  is  susceptible  to  a  chosen plaintext
    attack.  Length  of password does  not increase the  security.  No
    feedback  chaining  is  used  to  prevent  repeated  terms  in the
    plaintext appearing in the ciphertext.  A user could discover  the
    superuser  password  in  encrypted  form  and then apply character
    substitution to reveal the plaintext.

    Using  a  chosen  plain  text  attack,  the character substitution
    matrix can be constructed.   Using this matrix, it is  possible to
    simply look up each ciphertext character to reveal it's  plaintext
    equivalent.

    The  password  that  was  captured  using  a  network  analyzer in
    encrypted form was:

        yfohoh>u[ghhdptj1111111.

    Using the matrix above, the resulting plain text would be:

        ThisismypasswordQQQQQQQ

    If other characters had been used,  it's pretty easy to see how  a
    plain text attack would extend,  just feed in the ASCII  character
    set  and  review  the  ciphertext  that  appears.   The  last  few
    characters also reveal  another weakness.   The algorithm that  is
    being used,  seems to  take one  character at  a time, and doesn't
    use any  loop back  mechanism to  prevent repeating  terms in  the
    plaintext occurring in the ciphertext.

Solution

    CCC\Harvest  have  been  notified  through  their  support system.
    This  is  the  current  mechanism.   There  may  be some confusion
    as the extent of the exploit.

    Current research has led us to believe the following:
    1) the encryption key is hard coded in to the application
    2) the key is the same for all installations of CCC\Harvest

    If  CCC\Harvest  supports  NT  authentication,  it should be used.
    Changing the key  is not a  sufficient precaution to  prevent this
    attack.


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