Friday, November 7, 2014

How Secure is TextSecure?

Instant Messaging has attracted a lot of attention by users for both private and business communication and has especially gained popularity as low-cost short message replacement on mobile devices. However, most popular mobile messaging apps do not provide end-to-end security. Press releases about mass surveillance performed by intelligence services such as NSA and GCHQ lead many people looking for means that allow them to preserve the security and privacy of their communication on the Internet. Additionally fueled by Facebook's acquisition of the hugely popular messaging app WhatsApp, alternatives that claim to provide secure communication experienced a significant increase of new users.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Detecting and exploiting XXE in SAML Interfaces

This post will describe some findings, problems and inisghts regarding XML External Entity Attacks (XXEA) that we gathered during a large-scale security analysis of several SAML interfaces.
XXEA has been a popular attack class in the last months, see for example
This post will explain the basics of XXEA and how to adopt them to SAML, including some special problems you have to cope with.

First, we introduce the concept of Document Type Definition (DTD) and XML External Entity (XXE), and afterwards some basics on SAML. If you are fimiliar with these concepts, you may want to skip these sections and go to the last section XXEA on SAML.

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