How can a virus get past the defenses of any computer? By using its built-in security certification system, of course. Such is the case with Adobe’s digital certificate system, which was compromised this past weekend by a group of hackers looking to deal damage to computers around the world.

Adobe’s digital certificate system was hacked in order to verify two malicious updates. Normally, the digital certificates are used to certify legitimate Adobe updates. But after the system was attacked, hackers were able to use the digital certificate system to certify their own virus updates.

After being falsely certified by the system, the updates were sent through the Adobe system. Fortunately, the attack was caught before any updates could roll out to customers, although the fact that hackers were able to gain intimate access to Adobe servers is certainly troubling.

How did the attackers get into Adobe’s digital certificate system?

Of course, the big question this morning is how the hackers managed to gain access to Adobe’s digital certificate system. After all, a system like that is protected by some pretty rigorous security standards, and gaining access isn’t easy.

According to an article posted on the official Adobe Security blog, the problem was with lax security on one particular build server. Apparently, the server’s security mechanisms weren’t up to Adobe’s corporate standards. All it takes is one weak link for hackers to gain access to a system, and that’s exactly what happened here.

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