Linux bug leaves USA Today, other top sites vulnerable to serious hijacking attacks
“Off-path” attack means hackers can be anywhere with no man-in-the-middle needed.
Computer scientists have discovered a serious Internet vulnerability that allows attackers to terminate connections between virtually any two parties and, if the connections aren’t encrypted, inject malicious code or content into the parties’ communications.
The vulnerability resides in the design and implementation of RFC 5961, a relatively new Internet standard that’s intended to prevent certain classes of hacking attacks. In fact, the protocol is designed in a way that it can easily open Internet users to so-called blind off-path attacks, in which hackers anywhere on the Internet can detect when any two parties are communicating over an active transmission control protocol connection. Attackers can go on to exploit the flaw to shut down the connection, inject malicious code or content into unencrypted data streams, and possibly degrade privacy guarantees provided by the Tor anonymity network.