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Our research team, consisting of 7 researchers from the United States,
Switzerland and the Netherlands, was able to execute a practical MD5 collision
attack and create a rogue Certification Authority trusted by all common web
browsers. This allows us to perform transparent man-in-the-middle attacks
against SSL connections and monitor or tamper with the traffic to secure
websites or email servers.
The infrastructure of Certification Authorities is meant to prevent exactly
this type of attack. Our work shows that known weaknesses in the MD5 hash
function can be exploited in realistic attack, due to the fact that even after
years of warnings about the lack of security of MD5, some root CAs are still
using this broken hash function.
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