Feeds

Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln

Staff: 'Gone phishing'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.