Gmail accounts 'wide open to exploit' - report

Cookie monster bites web mail service

Google's high profile webmail service, Gmail, is vulnerable to a security exploit that might allow hackers full access to a user's email account simply by knowing the user name, according to reports.

The security flaw allows full access to users' accounts, with no need of a password, Israeli news site Nana says . Using a hex-encoded XSS link, the victim's cookie file can be stolen by a hacker, who can later use it to identify himself to Gmail as the original owner of an email account, regardless of whether or not the password is subsequently changed. Following up a tip from an Israeli hacker, journos from the site confirmed the attack and verified the exploit with local security firm Aladdin Knowledge Systems.

It's unclear whether the hole has been maliciously exploited. Google has been notified of the issue and is reportedly working on a fix. No-one from the company was available to update The Register on the issue at time of going to press. ®

Related stories

Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln
Google Desktop privacy branded 'unacceptable'
Google's Gmail: spook heaven?
California votes for Google mail safeguards
Yahoo! and Google escalate portal wars

Sponsored: How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers