Security Firm Estimates Theft of 200 Digital Certificates

An attack on Dutch SSL certification firm DigiNotar may have led to the theft of more than 200 digital security certificates by hackers.

A security expert has claimed that the amount of stolen SSL certificates is considerably higher than what DigiNotar has reported.

According to Computer World, Hans Van de Looy, security consultant and founder of security firm Madison Gurka, revealed that hackers managed to generate more than 200 SSL certificates.

SSL certificates are used to secure the communication taking place between a website and users’ computers. Hackers use the certificates to impersonate legitimate websites in order to steal information.

Apart from stealing certificates for google.com, hackers may have managed to steal certificates belonging to mozilla.com, yahoo.com and torproject.org.

Browser maker Mozilla confirmed that DigitNotar had informed the company about the fake SSL certificates, which were later blocked by the company.

No one is sure about the exact number of certificates stolen by the hackers but Google’s Chromium open source project just 247 certificates, confirming de Looy’s claim.

DigiNotar had earlier said in a statement that it was made aware of the attack on July and had proceeded to blacklist the certificates. However, the Dutch government informed the company later that it might have missed some of them.

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