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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.