Battle.net Mobile Authenticator MITM Vulnerability Sep 20 2010 06:07PM
yawninglol gmail com
The Blizzard Entertainment Battle.net mobile authenticator application

that is used as part of an optional two factor authentication scheme to

safeguard accounts is vulnerable to a passive eavesdropper during the

initialization process which occurs once per the lifetime of a given


An overview of how the application and protocol works is available at:



The Mobile Authenticator client/server initialization protocol is insecure.

Any attacker that is able to capture the request/response pair can fully

compromise the Serial Number/Secret Key which is vital to the secure

operation of the authentication mechanism.


The vulnerability exists when an attacker is able to intercept the

initialization request and response bodies sent to and from the mobile

device to the server.

An attacker that is capable of intercepting the encrypted request/response

pair will also be able to derive time stamp information.

Since the key generation algorithm seeds a pseudo random number generator

via "Time since the Unix Epoch", the search space for valid one time pad

keys that correspond to the encrypted cypher text is fairly small.

(This is dependent on how much clock skew exists between the attacker's

computer and the mobile device running the authenticator code.)

The factor that compounds this poor choice of pad generation algorithm is

that the response leaks quite a few bits of the pad.

The response format is as thus:

uint64_t current server time

uint8_t encrypted initialization response[37] (RespCypherText)

uint8_t secret key[20]

uint8_t authenticator serial number[17]

The authenticator serial number is always formatted as:

"EU-1234-5678-9012" or "US-1234-5678-9012".

Given the serial number format it is possible to derive portions of the key

like thus:

key[20]: RespCypherText[20] ^ 0x45 ('E') or 0x55 ('U')

key[21]: RespCypherText[21] ^ 0x55 ('U') or 0x53 ('S')

key[22]: RespCypherText[22] ^ 0x2D ('-')

key[27]: RespCypherText[27] ^ 0x2D ('-')

key[32]: RespCypherText[32] ^ 0x2D ('-')

The other bytes that make up the authenticator serial number all leak the top

4 bits of the relevant byte since the plain text will always range between

0x30->0x39. This gives the attacker 11 bytes out of the 37 byte pad which

is more than sufficient to establish a high confidence match.

Given the small search space it is trivial to brute force through the plausible

pads, and from there recover the rest of the one time pad key.

Further compounding the issue of a leaky key, the way in which RSA is used is

insecure. Since the payload is unarmored, there is a one to one correspondence

between each plain text and cypher text pair. With a minor amount of guesswork

to determine the mobile model string that the originating device used, the

attacker is able to determine if his decryption is correct. Though due to the

tiny search space such steps experimentally appear to be unneccecary.

Vendor was notified via e-mail, no response received in ~7 days.

[ reply ]


Privacy Statement
Copyright 2010, SecurityFocus