CVE Vulnerabilities


Use of a Broken or Risky Cryptographic Algorithm

Published: Jan 16, 2024 | Modified: Jan 24, 2024
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

Ursa is a cryptographic library for use with blockchains. The revocation schema that is part of the Ursa CL-Signatures implementations has a flaw that could impact the privacy guarantees defined by the AnonCreds verifiable credential model, allowing a malicious holder of a revoked credential to generate a valid Non-Revocation Proof for that credential as part of an AnonCreds presentation. A verifier may verify a credential from a holder as being not revoked when in fact, the holders credential has been revoked. Ursa has moved to end-of-life status and no fix is expected.


The product uses a broken or risky cryptographic algorithm or protocol.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Ursa Hyperledger 0.1.0 0.1.0

Extended Description

Cryptographic algorithms are the methods by which data is scrambled to prevent observation or influence by unauthorized actors. Insecure cryptography can be exploited to expose sensitive information, modify data in unexpected ways, spoof identities of other users or devices, or other impacts. It is very difficult to produce a secure algorithm, and even high-profile algorithms by accomplished cryptographic experts have been broken. Well-known techniques exist to break or weaken various kinds of cryptography. Accordingly, there are a small number of well-understood and heavily studied algorithms that should be used by most products. Using a non-standard or known-insecure algorithm is dangerous because a determined adversary may be able to break the algorithm and compromise whatever data has been protected. Since the state of cryptography advances so rapidly, it is common for an algorithm to be considered “unsafe” even if it was once thought to be strong. This can happen when new attacks are discovered, or if computing power increases so much that the cryptographic algorithm no longer provides the amount of protection that was originally thought. For a number of reasons, this weakness is even more challenging to manage with hardware deployment of cryptographic algorithms as opposed to software implementation. First, if a flaw is discovered with hardware-implemented cryptography, the flaw cannot be fixed in most cases without a recall of the product, because hardware is not easily replaceable like software. Second, because the hardware product is expected to work for years, the adversary’s computing power will only increase over time.

Potential Mitigations

  • When there is a need to store or transmit sensitive data, use strong, up-to-date cryptographic algorithms to encrypt that data. Select a well-vetted algorithm that is currently considered to be strong by experts in the field, and use well-tested implementations. As with all cryptographic mechanisms, the source code should be available for analysis.
  • For example, US government systems require FIPS 140-2 certification [REF-1192].
  • Do not develop custom or private cryptographic algorithms. They will likely be exposed to attacks that are well-understood by cryptographers. Reverse engineering techniques are mature. If the algorithm can be compromised if attackers find out how it works, then it is especially weak.
  • Periodically ensure that the cryptography has not become obsolete. Some older algorithms, once thought to require a billion years of computing time, can now be broken in days or hours. This includes MD4, MD5, SHA1, DES, and other algorithms that were once regarded as strong. [REF-267]
  • Use a vetted library or framework that does not allow this weakness to occur or provides constructs that make this weakness easier to avoid.
  • Industry-standard implementations will save development time and may be more likely to avoid errors that can occur during implementation of cryptographic algorithms. Consider the ESAPI Encryption feature.