Importance of Machine Identity | Digital Signatures Vulnerability | The Cyber Review

July 27, 2021
Written by Ana R.

Machine Identity Lies at the Core of Cybersecurity

Considering we are almost always connected whether it is through our phones, laptops, tv's, cars, or other smart appliances, there is a lot of information that is being exchanged across the world.

By 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally – that’s the equivalent of more than 200 million DVDs per day.

With so much information traveling globally who is responsible to ensure its security? This is why we need cybersecurity.

Any external threat must be caught on the spot and denied permission to communicate with the network’s devices which is why machines must have their own identities so that they can be authenticated to communicate within the network.

From your bank transactions to online shopping, every machine communicates to the network. These machines have a digital certificate called TLS/SSL certificate.

Considering how complex technology and operations have gotten, digital certificates are also becoming restricted by shorter life spans to ensure security of the company's network.

Mismanagement of digital certificates can lead to disruption in services or data breach which is a huge risk for companies.

Even a second of having a machine running with an expired digital certificate can be an entry point for a hacker to attack the company which is why companies must have a strong cybersecurity strategy. A company cannot afford to put loads of sensitive data or finances at risk.

A Machine Identity Management service is must for any company that is having a global outreach. It takes care of entire lifecycle of digital certificates and ensures a ceaseless and secure operations.

Digital signatures & cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Digital signatures today can be used for almost everything from contracts to legal documents.

Popular digital signature companies like DocuSign use public key infrastructure (PKI) which verifies the signature is authentic.

Given the popularity of e-signature in the past year, people should be aware that PDF's too can be hacked by hiding, replacing, or hiding and replacing.

Hide attack

This involves hiding various malicious content pieces behind another like an image. Once the victim has signed the document and sent it back, the attacker can reveal the hidden content and access the information.

Replace attack

This occurs by replacing or changing certain minor aspects of a legitimate form. For example, changing fonts to lookalike ones but importing malicious code with that.

Hide and replace attack

This is considered the most powerful one as it enabled hackers to replace the entire content of a PDF. The signee saw a correct document, and signed, but through hiding and replacing certain objects with the same ID as a legitimate one.

This then is sent back to the attacker and they can reveal the true document.

Provide staff with ongoing and correct cybersecurity training on spotting such scams. In addition, ensure you have a process set to report scams.