Let's say I have an application (A) installed on my PC that communicates with some server over https. What would another application (B) on my machine need to do to be able to read the unencrypted data?

The only way I can think of at the moment would involve messing with the trusted certificates, to bring application A to use a manipulated one, so application B could easily decrypt all the data sent. But does A even use certificates from a source that B can manipulate?

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    Not really enough details to be able to say - call A "Firefox" and B "Burp", and you've got a local HTTPS proxy, which involves an additional certificate in Firefox. Given sufficiently complex malware, it could probably perform the required steps. Call A "Custom banking app using hard-coded CA" and it gets a lot harder (see certificate pinning in mobile apps for a common example). There is no requirement that applications use the OS/browser certificate store. – Matthew Mar 22 at 13:06
  • is A web browser? if so, it's trivial. If not, it's hard/impossible. – dandavis Mar 22 at 19:50
  • Methods for cross-application data pilfering vary based on hardware, platform, and intent. If you have a specific technical question, please try to restate it with specific information. – Don Simon Mar 22 at 20:39
  • No, I did mean to ask in this generality. Could have been, that there usually is a central service on the level of the operating system, that encrypts, or that at least the certificates used are provided centrally. That not being the case is already an acceptable answer for me (if it was one ;-) ) – Paul Mar 24 at 15:43

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