Feeds

Google plugs brace of GMail security flaws

Trouble comes in pairs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Google fixed a brace of security holes to its web-based services last week. Each posed a serious risk for users of its popular GMail service.

A flaw in Froogle, Google's price-comparison service, created a means for attackers to swipe cookies used to access GMail accounts. Israeli hacker Nir Goldshlager demonstrated how users fooled into executing script by clicking a link pointed at Froogle could be redirected to a site that steals usernames and passwords for the "Google Accounts" centralised log-in service. Google has fixed the vulnerability, preventing further theft. But Goldshlager warns that data from already stolen cookies can still be used even if the password of compromised accounts is changed.

"The system authenticates the hacker as the victim, using the stolen cookie file. Thus no password is involved in the authentication process. The victim can change his password as many times as he wants, and it still won't stop the hacker from using his box," Goldshlager said, eWeek reports.

Last week Google fixed a separate bug in its GMail email service that allowed attackers to snoop on users' email or obtain passwords. The security flaw was uncovered by Unix community group HBX Networks in developing code to send batches of newsletters.

Email sent using this PERL code accidentally malformed the 'From' field in such a way as to confuse GMail's systems into embeding portions of someone else's HTML message in test emails. Some of these leaked messages contained GMail usernames and passwords; so it's just as well that Google acted quickly to plug the security hole to its popular service (still officially undergoing beta testing). Google fixed the bug by adopting its service to reject the type of malformed message demonstrated by HBX Networks. ®

Related stories

Gmail accounts 'wide open to exploit' - report
Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln
Google Desktop privacy branded 'unacceptable'
Google's Gmail: spook heaven?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.