Feeds

Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln

Staff: 'Gone phishing'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The first flaw in Google's Desktop Search product has been discovered, and now fixed, according to the giant ad broker. The JavaScript vulnerability allowed third party websites to view the results of searches made on your local hard drive. It took Google four days to address the problem, and according to the Javascript expert who raised the alarm, it still hasn't been adequately patched.

Software developer Jim Ley, who maintains the comp.lang.javascript FAQ, announced the flaw on Monday on his weblog. But nobody noticed. Ley's email message to security@google.com bounced. He looked in vain for a security hotline number.

On Tuesday he demonstrated an ingenious potential application of the bug: a phishing exploit that announced that Google was becoming a subscription service, and invited the victim to enter their credit card details. Still no response.

Google finally sat up and took notice after the vulnerability was posted on the Security Focus BugTraq mailing list. Google couldn't explain why it didn't have a working email or phone contact for security alerts, but according to Jim, seemed anxious that he remove the phishing example.

In fact as he points out, the vulnerability is over two years old.

"Hopefully Google will get in touch explain what went wrong with the communication of the issue, hopefully Google will realise that a phone number of the security team on the web would also help," he writes.

"The fix they put in place is still flawed, it relies on special casing the vbscript, javascript and perlscript strings, meaning other language protocols are still at risk in IE with its multiple scripting language capability."

It's good to know Google takes security as seriously as it takes privacy. ®

Related Links

Jim's weblog
Bugtraq alert

Related stories

Gates: PC will replace TV, TV will become a giant Google
Talented flunkeys unite against phishing
Google Desktop privacy branded 'unacceptable'
Google's Gmail: spook heaven?
Google's Ethics Committee revealed
Google decides banner ads, skyscrapers are not evil
Google values its own privacy. How does it value yours?
Google revives discredited Microsoft privacy policy for Friendster clone

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.