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New attacks on Network Time Protocol can defeat HTTPS and create chaos

Serious weaknesses in the Internet's time-synchronization mechanism can be exploited to cause debilitating outages, snoop on encrypted communications, or tamper with Bitcoin transactions, computer scientists warned Wednesday.

The vulnerabilities reside in the Network Time Protocol, the widely used specification computers use to ensure their internal clocks are accurate. Surprisingly, connections between computers and NTP servers are rarely encrypted, making it possible for hackers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks that reset clocks to times that are months or even years in the past.

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