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Google blocks Gmail exploit

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Website security in corporate America

Google has fixed a flaw in its high-profile webmail service, Gmail, which created a possible route for hackers to gain full access to a user's email account simply by knowing their user name. Using a hex-encoded XSS link, the victim's cookie file could have been stolen by a hacker, who might 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.

It's unclear whether the hole, first reported by Israeli news site Nana last week, has been maliciously exploited. In any case the issue has now been resolved.

In a brief statement released on Saturday (30 October), Google said it "was recently alerted to a potential security vulnerability affecting the Gmail service. We have since fixed this vulnerability, and all current and future Gmail users are protected".

Which is nice. ®

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