Feeds

Google plugs GMail exploit

Callback calamity

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has fixed a vulnerability in its popular GMail web mail service that creates a means for hackers to steal users' contact lists.

The cross-site scripting flaw stemmed from the decision by GMail to store contact lists in a JavaScript file. GMail always saves contact lists as JavaScript code using the same URL, so a script featuring this URL can read out the fields of a users' contact list. GMail failed to check what sites were attempting to run this "callback" function.

As a result users logged into GMail, or other Google services sharing the same login, are liable to hand over their contact list to spammers or other miscreants providing they are tricked into visiting a maliciously constructed website. Exploitation would have been as simple as fooling users into visiting a hostile website through spam messages sent to users' email accounts.

The flaw, similar to previous problems with GMail, was first reported by Googlified. The security bug was introduced through an unannounced feature on Google Video that was designed to allow users' to email clips to their contacts more easily.

Coders failed to take into account that it was a bad idea to save sensitive data as JavaScript, under predictable URLs, a problem Google watchers spotted shortly after Google made the coding changes last week. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?