To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but actually is not, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption remains the key. preferred method of protecting digital data. and Computer protection: In some cases, the same digital certificates used for Internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said.
Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver’s license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Explitation and Cyber Warfare. .
“Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text,” Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications. that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But “fake certificates” or invalid certificates can alter any data.
Sense of security, “said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber Risk LLC said that digital certificates are typically issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries. However, there are opportunities for an entity Communist, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other “horrible people” who seem trustworthy but are not, he said.
“If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it,” Duren said. “But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who should not be trusted. Duren said he would never trust.” a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of various companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies.
Jenkinson said Chinese certification bodies make up a small part of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.
Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who refused to give his real name, uses his computer at his office in Dongguan, Guangdong province. porcelain, on August 4, 2020 (Nicolas Asfouri / AFP via Getty Images).
In 2015, certificates from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency that oversees domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies objected to CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, the CNNIC certificates were banned because they had “back doors.”
A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] It could literally take administrative access and send data to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Microsoft have also blocked Chinese certification authorities WoSign and its subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not it has been deterred and takes a long time. Long-term game, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm.
Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certificate authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect safe, he said. “But in 2019, the Chinese CIP discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years,” Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery while researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm.
Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability, offering: “Either they are incredibly accommodating or complicit,” he said, noting that the company’s clients include government agencies. The failure of this multi-billion dollar company to fix this problem means that hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company’s lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said.
Businesses or clients who use the company’s services could be held back for a ransom, they have their intellectual advantages.