Mozilla patches critical “BigSig” cryptographic bug: Here’s how to track it down and fix it

Renowned bug-hunter Tavis Ormandy of Google’s Project Zero team recently found a critical security flaw in Mozilla’s cryptographic code.

Many software vendors rely on third-party open source cryptographic tools, such as OpenSSL, or simply hook up with the cryptographic libraries built into the operating system itself, such as Microsoft’s Secure Channel (Schannel) on Windows or Apple’s Secure Transport on macOS and iOS.

But Mozilla has always used its own cryptographic library, known as NSS, short for Network Security Services, instead of relying on third-party or system-level code.

Ironically, this bug is exposed when affected applications set out to test the cryptographic veracity of digital signatures provided by the senders of content such as emails, PDF documents or web pages.

In other words, the very act of protecting you, by checking up front whether a user or website you’re dealing with is an imposter…

…could, in theory, lead to you getting hacked by said user or website.

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