Feeds

Hacking Hotmail made easy

Hurry, before they close the hole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Some bright empiricist from Root-Core has discovered that anyone can log into their Hotmail account and then call messages from any other Hotmail account by crafting a URL with the second account's username and a valid message number.

Finding a valid message number is of course total guesswork, but they all follow a consistent format and always have the same number of digits (i.e., a time stamp), so with the help of a little brute-force progie one can try numerous combinations in the background rather than type them in.

The basic URL for an attack looks like this:

http://pv2fd.pav2.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/saferd? _lang=EN&hm___tg=http%3a%2f%2f64%2e4%2e36%2e250%2fcgi%2dbin%2fgetmsg&hm___qs=%26msg%3dMSGXXXXXXXXX% 2e(X)X%26start%3d1%26len%3d99999999999%26login% 3dUSERNAME%26domain%3dhotmail%2ecom

where USERNAME is the account name, XXXXXXXXX is a nine-digit message number, and (X)X is a second number between zero and (I think) fifty-nine.

(I've inserted spaces in the URL so the page here doesn't grow a mile wide, so be sure to remove them before you play with it.)

Now, let's say you have a Hotmail account called r00tarded@hotmail.com. Just log in, click on any message in your inbox, and then look at the URL. You'll see something like this:

http://lw2fd.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/getmsg? curmbox=F000000001&a=5691b2b44e104176111971aa0fbb1274&m sg=MSG998000947.3&start=197078&len=1060&msgread=1&mfs=182

Copy the URL and log out. Now, log into another of your Hotmail accounts, and commence to play.

The message number for the item you viewed in your r00tarded account is MSG998000947.3 and it needs to be inserted in the attack URL along with the username thus:

http://pv2fd.pav2.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/saferd? _lang=EN&hm___tg=http%3a%2f%2f64%2e4%2e36%2e250%2fcgi% 2dbin%2fgetmsg&hm___qs=%26msg%3dMSG998000947% 2e3%26start%3d1%26len%3d99999999999%26login% 3dr00tarded%26domain%3dhotmail%2ecom

It's necessary that you be logged into another (any other) Hotmail account. Now copy in the attack URL, click 'go' and voila.

You can only read messages; the button links on the page don't work; they'll bounce you back to the account you're working from. But it is a nifty trick, and it is proof of a major hole in Hotmail security.

The hacking danger here is very much limited by the need to guess message numbers, which is slow going. And while there is a handy program for bruting the numbers it's quite slow, trying only about one message page per second in 'fast' mode.

It has a GUI but remains a bit clunky, and also needs to be paused after it brings up the Hotmail login page so you can enter a valid username and password. After two unsuccessful attempts, I got it to work as advertised. It's more a proof-of-concept exercise than a cracking tool -- so enjoy it as such.

And please, I beg you, don't contact me for tech support. I've nothing to do with it. It works; it does take a bit of tweaking; so just give it a whirl and be playful. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.