Nonce-Disrespecting Adversaries: Practical Forgery Attacks on GCM in TLS

Hanno Böck, Aaron Zauner, Sean Devlin, Juraj Somorovsky, Philipp Jovanovic

WOOT 2016


We investigate nonce reuse issues with the GCM block cipher mode as used in TLS and focus in particular on AES-GCM, the most widely deployed variant. With an Internet-wide scan we identified 184 HTTPS servers repeating nonces, which fully breaks the authenticity of the connections. Affected servers include large corporations, financial institutions, and a credit card company. We present a proof of concept of our attack allowing to violate the authenticity of affected HTTPS connections which in turn can be utilized to inject seemingly valid content into encrypted sessions. Furthermore, we discovered over 70,000 HTTPS servers using random nonces, which puts them at risk of nonce reuse, in the unlikely case that large amounts of data are sent via the same session.

[Blackhat stuff] [paper]