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Hackers impersonating 'trusted' Web pages

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Three companies working with Web browsers to ensure the authenticity of Web pages where consumers enter sensitive information have been hacked, authorities say.

They are among more than 650 digital certificate authorities worldwide that certify that Web pages displayed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome are authentic and not fakes trying to capture and steal information such as account logons and credit card numbers, USA Today reported Tuesday.

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This summer a hacker gained access to Dutch digital certificate supplier DigiNotar and began issuing forged certificates for dozens of companies.

That led to faked pages impersonating online sites of Google, Microsoft, Skype, Equifax, Twitter, Facebook and the CIA, among others.

Two other digital certificate companies, one in the United States and one in Japan, were similarly hacked this summer, exposing weakness in Internet security.

"The infrastructure baked into the Internet, which is based on trust, is starting to fall apart," Michael Sutton of security company Zscaler said.

The attacks demonstrated that scammers can "impersonate any site on the Internet," Josh Shaul, chief technical officer at security company AppSec, said.

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