Comments: Hold the press! Corporates say that SSL is too slow to be used all the time?

If you use Gmail, eBay, MySpace, or any one of dozens of other web-based services, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team wants you to know you're vulnerable to a simple attack that could give an attacker complete control over your account. ....

And eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said: "This vulnerability is a well known weakness within the HTTP protocol itself. If the user logs out, it will clear the session. Beyond that, the only thing that can be done about it would be to turn the entire site into SSL - which would be prohibitive on several fronts, including usability." ...

It's also true that cloaking an entire site behind SSL would require significantly more processing power and would also slow many users' browsing experience by a considerable measure. ....

If you're waiting for a fix, we recommend you pack a very large lunch. And beyond that, where possible you might switch to Google, which has already gone a long way to closing the hole.

As the only web-based email service we know of that offers a start-to-finish SSL session, the service is among the most resilient to cookie hijacking. Unfortunately, Gmail doesn't enable persistent SSL by default, and has done little to educate its users about its benefits.

The company also offers SSL for its calendar, search history, documents and reader services, and a Google spokesman said security engineers "are actively working to expand capacity to enable HTTPS encryption for all users."

In the meantime, a Firefox extension called CustomizeGoogle provides a simple way to ensure that all sessions with the above-mentioned Google services are automatically protected by SSL.

Posted by A US CERT reminder: The net is an insecure place World's biggest websites no match for decade-old web bug at May 21, 2011 05:18 AM

SSL is slow. Multiple redundant round trips.

This is a result of layering. Bad idea.

Posted by James A Donald at May 22, 2011 03:34 AM

Have you checked out SSLShader? It uses a reverse proxy and GPU acceleration to significantly increase SSL throughput for web sites. It was devised as a cheaper alternative to expensive crypto accelerators. If more companies knew about these things, they might find it cost-effective to do always-on SSL.


Posted by Nick P at July 7, 2011 10:22 PM
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