Feeds

Hotmail users exposed to cookie snaffling exploit

Peril

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A cookie manipulation exploit that created a possible means for hackers to break into Hotmail accounts forced Microsoft into pulling a portion of its website last weekend.

The exploitable page - http://ilovemessenger.msn.com - has been updated to remove a cross site scripting flaw that was the subject of the exploit. But Alex de Vries, the Dutch security enthusiast who discovered the trick, warns that other portions of MSN's site are still vulnerable.

The exploit works in three stages. Hackers use security loopholes to inject hostile code onto MSN's web site. Hackers can then harvest Hotmail cookies from surfers redirected to this contaminated page by taking advantage of the use of Hotmail cookies across the MSN.com domain. Once hackers have a victim's cookie they can use tools to trick Hotmail into thinking they already logged on as this user.

The security flap comes days after Microsoft confessed its South Korean MSN Web site was the target of a hacking attack. Hackers succeeded in loading malicious code onto the site at part of an attack designed to steal passwords for Lineage, an on-line game popular in east Asia.

Microsoft declined our repeated requests to comment on the security of MSN Hotmail in light of de Vries's research. ®

Related stories

Online gamers targeted in Korean MSN hack attack
MS UK 0wn3d by hackers. Again
MS Passport cracked with Hotmail
Hotmail vulnerable to JavaScript exploit
Hacking Hotmail made easy

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.