Pokemon Go vs. Certificate Pinning

July 11, 2016 #http #security #pokemon

Saw this Tweet from @notdan about the Pokémon Go video game and their lack of certificate pinning:

@notdan Pokemon Go Tweet

At first, I thought “duh, of course, they should have” but then I realized that I need to understand Certificate and Public Key Pinning better.  I’ve known about RFC 7469 - Public Key Pinning Extension for HTTP and the HPKP header for a while, but never implemented it for any web applications (where the browser does the check) nor for any mobile/desktop applications (where you need to code the check yourself).

I read though HPKP: HTTP Public Key Pinning to see how these pins work.  I grabbed the Public-Key-Pins header from that blog post using a curl command:

$ curl -sI "" | grep -Fi public-key-pins

Public-Key-Pins: pin-sha256="X3pGTSOuJeEVw989IJ/cEtXUEmy52zs1TZQrU06KUKg="; pin-sha256="MHJYVThihUrJcxW6wcqyOISTXIsInsdj3xK8QrZbHec="; pin-sha256="isi41AizREkLvvft0IRW4u3XMFR2Yg7bvrF7padyCJg="; pin-sha256="I/bAACUzdYEFNw2ZKRaypOyYvvOtqBzg21g9a5WVClg="; pin-sha256="Y4/Gxyck5JLLnC/zWHtSHfNljuMbOJi6dRQuRJTgYdo="; pin-sha256="/oCVQg3nP3DroGpFdAbaiYzenycUftqrH3LAyaIal2g="; pin-sha256="0PiItvsnLZy1slbsVPGky8YnDsJavMNtxD0TPwsCdC8="; pin-sha256="t3EPvqF+7XoKypCPHyN1b5uey7zTfIGDHn4oBWz2pds="; pin-sha256="zqbcEslrpiH0bA9uhNyl2ovpLEfGJQM/QvZSVumMFJ8="; pin-sha256="V+J+7lHvE6X0pqGKVqLtxuvk+0f+xowyr3obtq8tbSw="; pin-sha256="Myokb3mG16eRkVBE+ZmFSKSpYQzWHKMY1MZbXgA8BkQ="; pin-sha256="WSg/oQliyMYyP6yZ0CzDdQ8PHmtUkoUsOsa5svxxXxo="; pin-sha256="9lBW+k9EF6yyG9413/fPiHhQy5Ok4UI5sBpBTuOaa/U="; pin-sha256="ipMu2Xu72A086/35thucbjLfrPaSjuw4HIjSWsxqkb8="; pin-sha256="6OnjvIKf0SxyerXzg9N0RvQ2sgaL6niV+MLn9wBrh+s="; pin-sha256="9dNiZZueNZmyaf3pTkXxDgOzLkjKvI+Nza0ACF5IDwg="; max-age=2592000; includeSubDomains; report-uri=""

I generated the same value as one of the pins (thanks to the example from Public Key Pinning - Web security | MDN ):

$ openssl s_client -servername -connect \
| openssl x509 -pubkey -noout \
| openssl rsa -pubin -outform der \
| openssl dgst -sha256 -binary \
| openssl enc -base64
depth=1 /C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
verify error:num=20:unable to get local issuer certificate
verify return:0
writing RSA key

Now that I’ve leveled up my InfoSec skills, maybe I should go learn more about Pokemon?

Update: I was a little scared to login with my Google Account and give the app “Full Account Access” (see iOS version of Pokémon Go is a possible privacy trainwreck | Ars Technica ) but after reading Have you given Pokémon Go full access to everything in your Google account? | Technology | The Guardian things might not be that bad.

Kevin Hakanson

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