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Friend Turned Enemy: SSL-Based Cyber-Attacks

SSL-based cyber-attacks are the posterchild for the idiom “a wolf in sheep's clothing.”

A cryptographic protocol turned enemy, SSL improves privacy and integrity, but can also create a blind spot in corporate defenses when hackers leverage it to mask cyber-attacks and malware.

SSL-based cyber-attacks are growing in popularity, and for good reason: over half of all Internet traffic today is encrypted and that figure is only expected to rise. Not surprisingly, the security challenges posed by encrypted traffic are poised to get worse, as Gartner has noted: “The continued growth of SSL/TLS traffic will be amplified by the adoption of HTTP 2.0. It creates a new attack surface for malware infection, data exfiltration and call back communication.”