Once again XSS flaws have been discovered in popular web apps, but at least they were reported and not used nefariously this time.
Fixes have been issued promptly by both Google and Twitter so there is not much cause for concern this time round. But you can imagine if Nir Goldshlager could uncover these flaws – how many more are there
A security researcher uncovered some holes in Google Calendar and Twitter that may allow an attacker to steal cookies and user session IDs.
In a proof of concept, researcher Nir Goldshlager demonstrated cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Google Calendar and Twitter that he said could be used to steal cookies and session IDs. He also uncovered an HTML injection issue affecting Google Calendar as well that he said could be used to redirect a victim to an attack site any time the user viewed his or her Google Calendar agenda events.
Twitter issued a fix for the issue Dec. 30, and Google stated Dec. 31 it would examine the input validation process for the Google Calendar field to help address the situation.
XSS attack have become increasingly prevalent in the last few years and the power of harnessing them well is tarted to become more obvious.
When XSS attacks first emerged they were thought of as trivial, but as times have changed there is so much more information and valuable data stored online stealing someones login credentials can be enough to get a worthy stash of credentials.
According to Goldshlager, a penetration testing expert with Avnet Information Security Consulting in Israel, the cross-site scripting vulnerability can be exploited if a victim adds malicious code to his quick add post calendar.
“When the victim … [adds] this malicious code, his cookies [and] session ID will be stolen and will be sent to the attacker site,” he said. “Then the attacker will be able to get full control of the victim’s Google accounts like: Google Calendar account, Google Groups, iGoogle, etc.”
Goldshlager also demonstrated that the HTML injection vulnerability could be used to log a user out of his Google account, something the Google spokesman said “is of negligible security impact” and “can be avoided by not clicking on the link.”
“They should fix this immediately because an attacker can redirect a victim to any site that he wants, and [with] the XSS issue an attacker can steal the victim’s cookies and get full control of his accounts,” the researcher said.
At least the flaws were fixed quickly and disclosed responsibly. It’s an interesting start for the new year and honestly there’s been hardly any news for the past 3 days.
Let’s hope for an interesting year ahead and plenty of new interesting stories and tools.
Oh and of course, Happy New Year!