FREAK Vulnerability : SSL/TLS Vulnerability to Exploit Apple and Android

FREAK Vulnerability : Android Penetration Testing a Must now .

The Freak Vulnerability leave Android and Apple users Unsecured . This is a Vulnerability in SSL/TLS that is not new and has left the Android and Apple users open to exploitation via MITM(Man in the middle attack) . The Freak Vulnerability leaves the Apple and Android users exposed to MITM and any secure traffic is completely to the exposure of the Hacker .
Freak Vulnerability is widespread and disastrous SSL/TLS vulnerability and has been uncovered for over a decade left Millions of users of Apple and Android devices vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks on encrypted traffic when they visited supposedly ‘secured’ websites, including the official websites of the White House, FBI and National Security Agency.


Dubbed the “FREAK” vulnerability (CVE-2015-0204) – also known as Factoring Attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys – enables hackers or intelligence agencies to force clients to use older, weaker encryption i.e. also known as the export-grade key or 512-bit RSA keys.
The FREAK vulnerability discovered by security researchers of French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria) and Microsoft, resides in OpenSSL versions 1.01k and earlier, and Apple’s Secure Transport.

Freak Vulnerability : From Penetration Testers View

How Freak Vulnerability Works ! (The very technical Description of the Freak Vulnerability)
  • In the client’s Hello message, it asks for a standard ‘RSA’ ciphersuite.
  • The MITM attacker changes this message to ask for ‘export RSA’.
  • The server responds with a 512-bit export RSA key, signed with its long-term key.
  • The client accepts this weak key due to the OpenSSL/Secure Transport bug.
  • The attacker factors the RSA modulus to recover the corresponding RSA decryption key.
  • When the client encrypts the ‘pre-master secret’ to the server, the attacker can now decrypt it to recover the TLS ‘master secret’.
  • From here on out, the attacker sees plain text and can inject anything it wants.

Who is Vulnerable to Freak ?

The FREAK attack is possible when a vulnerable browser connects to a susceptible web server—a server that accepts “export-grade” encryption.


Servers that accept RSA_EXPORT cipher suites put their users at risk from the FREAK attack. Using Internet-wide scanning, we have been performing daily tests of all HTTPS servers at public IP addresses to determine whether they allow this weakened encryption. More than a third of all servers with browser-trusted certificates are at risk.


Browsers are vulnerable to the FREAK attack because of bugs that allow an attacker to force them to use weak, export-grade encryption.  Far more browsers are vulnerable to the FREAK attack than was initially thought when the attack was announced. The client side bugs can also be identified via the penetration testing of the clients browser for Freak Vulnerability.

Remediation from Freak Vulnerability

On the Server Side

You should immediately disable support for TLS export cipher suites. While you’re at it, you should also disable other cipher suites that are known to be insecure and enable forward secrecy. For instructions on how to secure popular HTTPS server software, we recommend Mozilla’s security configuration guide and their SSL configuration generator.

On the Client Side (Browser)

Make sure you have the most recent version of your browser installed, and check for updates frequently. Updates that fix the FREAK attack should be available for all major browsers soon.

For SysAdmins and Developers

TLS libraries must be up to dateUnpatched OpenSSL Microsoft Schannel , andApple SecureTransport all suffer from the vulnerability. Note that these libraries are used internally by many other programs, such as wget and curl. You also need to ensure that your software does not offer export cipher suites, even as a last resort, since they can be exploited even if the TLS library is patched.


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