Microsoft Bulks Up Azure Web Sites Encryption
The company makes it tougher to crack Websites and apps hosted on the Azure cloud service with Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificate support.In the wake of last year's National Security Agency spying revelations and after the discovery of the high-profile "Heartbleed" vulnerability, security has become a top priority for cloud services providers. Microsoft, for its part, is hardening its Azure Web Sites service with support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), announced Erez Benari, an Azure Web Sites program manager. Azure Web Sites is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering that enables customers to quickly spin up and scale Websites and applications. "Elliptic curve cryptography is an encryption technology based on the algebraic structure of elliptic curves over finite fields," explained Benari in a June 9 blog post. "The symmetry and computational complexity in this sort of function allows us to efficiently create a public and private key set that are much harder to break." After generating a private key, Microsoft uses "a selected elliptic function" to come up with a private key. The process yields encryption that is much tougher to crack. "Reversing this (as in, an attacker calculating the private key from the public key) is a monumental computational task that would be unrealistic with today's technology and should remain so for many more years," Benari said.
"Compared to the classic private/public key generation, this is harder by a factor of 10, approximately," he added.