Feeds

Researcher crosses swords with Google over XSS 'flaw'

Bug or feature?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has crossed swords with an independent security researcher who claims that the domain used by Google module applications provides a potential "safe haven" for phishing fraudsters.

Google modules are small web apps (widgets) designed for functions such as displaying weather forecasts or sports scores on a third-party website.

Security researcher Robert Hansen warned Google that fraudsters might be able to create a phishing site on the gmodules domain because a cross site scripting flaw allows the injection of JavaScript.

Because the gmodules domain (gmodules.com) is trusted by phishing filters the flaw poses a greater risk than it might on other domains.

In its response, Google said JavaScript is a supported part of Google modules. Cross-domain protection stops sites on gmodules from been used to steal Google-specific cookies, it adds. "On further review, it turns out that this is not a bug, but instead the expected behavior of this domain," Google's security staffers told Hansen.

Hansen, a critic of Google's security response in general, argues that the search engine giant has missed the point. He posted a demo of cross-site scripting of the gmodules domain to illustrate his concern that Google ought to be worried about risks beyond simple credential (cookie) theft.

The exchange between Hansen and Google has sparked a lively debate on the ha.ckers.otg forum with participants weighing in on both sides of the debate. Some point out that Google has at least mitigated the risk by running modules from the gmodules domain, while others argue that the security policies at the ad brokering giant leave a lot to be desired. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.