Taher Elgamal, Creator of SSL Technology, Warns Hackers Could Attack Again

Taher Elgamal, the creator of SSL technology, has warned that the system is as vulnerable as it was a month ago when it came under attack from hackers.

The Secure Socket Layer technology is used to secure the communication and data site owners keep on a website. SSL certificates also make sure that the websites are legitimate and not a fake designed to steal information.

Last month, hackers attacked the system; stealing several certificates. In one of these incidents, hackers were able to spy on more than 300,000 Gmail users in Iran using the stolen certificates.

Elgamal said that despite the attacks on Diginotar and Commodo, virtually no steps have been taken to protect the system should it happen again.

“It could happen again. There's no back-up plan, which is generally a bad security mode,” he said.

Elgamal, who developed SSL while he was working with Netscape, said that there so many issuers of SSL certificates that it is difficult to secure all of them.

“Nobody asked the question of what to do if a certificate authority turns out to be bad,” he said.