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National Cyber Awareness System

Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2004-2761

Original release date: 01/05/2009
Last revised: 11/19/2010


The MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm is not collision resistant, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to conduct spoofing attacks, as demonstrated by attacks on the use of MD5 in the signature algorithm of an X.509 certificate.


CVSS Severity (version 2.0):
CVSS v2 Base Score: 5.0 MEDIUM
Impact Subscore: 2.9
Exploitability Subscore: 10.0
CVSS Version 2 Metrics:
Access Vector: Network exploitable
Access Complexity: Low
Authentication: Not required to exploit
Impact Type: Allows unauthorized modification
There are four significant mitigating factors. 1) Most enterprise-class certificates, such as VeriSign’s Extended Validation SSL Certificates use the still secure SHA-1 hash function. 2) Certificates already issued with MD5 signatures are not at risk. The exploit only affects new certificate acquisitions. 3) CAs are quickly moving to replace MD5 with SHA-1. For example, VeriSign was planning to phase out MD5 by the end of January 2009. The date was pushed up due to the December proof of concept. On December 31, 2008, RapidSSL certificates shipped with SHA-1 digital signatures. 4)The researchers did not release the under-the-hood specifics of how the exploit was executed. Source - http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=724&tag=nl.e036

Vendor Statements (disclaimer)

Official Statement from Red Hat (01/07/2009)
Please see http://kbase.redhat.com/faq/docs/DOC-15379

References to Advisories, Solutions, and Tools

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External Source: BID
Name: 33065
External Source: CISCO
Name: 20090115 MD5 Hashes May Allow for Certificate Spoofing
External Source: REDHAT
Name: RHSA-2010:0837
External Source: FEDORA
Name: FEDORA-2009-1276
External Source: MISC
Name: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/961509.mspx
External Source: MISC
Name: http://www.doxpara.com/research/md5/md5_someday.pdf
External Source: MISC
Name: http://www.win.tue.nl/hashclash/SoftIntCodeSign/
External Source: MISC
Name: http://www.phreedom.org/research/rogue-ca/
External Source: UBUNTU
Name: USN-740-1
External Source: CONFIRM
Name: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=648886
External Source: MISC
Name: http://blog.mozilla.com/security/2008/12/30/md5-weaknesses-could-lead-to-certificate-forgery/
US-CERT Vulnerability Note: CERT-VN
Name: VU#836068
External Source: REDHAT
Name: RHSA-2010:0838
External Source: MISC
Name: http://blogs.technet.com/swi/archive/2008/12/30/information-regarding-md5-collisions-problem.aspx
External Source: SREASON
Name: 4866
External Source: MISC
Name: http://www.win.tue.nl/hashclash/rogue-ca/
External Source: SECTRACK
Name: 1024697
External Source: MISC
Name: https://blogs.verisign.com/ssl-blog/2008/12/on_md5_vulnerabilities_and_mit.php
External Source: BUGTRAQ
Name: 20081230 MD5 Considered Harmful Today: Creating a rogue CA certificate

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