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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.