Opera Certificate Stolen

Friday, June 28, 2013 @ 03:06 PM gHale

The makers of the Opera browser, Opera Software, said its internal network was the victim of a targeted attack where hackers made off with at least one certificate they used to sign malware.

The Norway-based company, where two percent of Internet users operate the browser, said the hackers did not compromise any data belonging to users, and they took care of the infection, said Sigbjorn Vik, who works in quality assurance at Opera Software.

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But the attackers did “obtain at least one old and expired Opera code-signing certificate…which allowed them to distribute malicious software which incorrectly appears to have been published by Opera Software, or appears to be the Opera browser,” he said.

Vik said for a 36-minute period on June 19, “a few thousand” Windows users who were running the browser may have automatically received and installed the malware.
Opera should soon release a new version of the browser, which will rely on a new code-signing cert, and recommends that all users upgrade.

A similar intrusion that affected Opera Software hit Adobe in September.

And valid digital certificates used for illegitimate purposes have become a preferred hacker ploy of late. Most recently, the authors of the Flame virus used rogue Microsoft certs to spread the malware. Certificate authorities themselves also have been a target of these certification attacks.

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