Feeds

Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln

Staff: 'Gone phishing'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.