Feeds

New cracks in Google mail

Penetrated via a persistent backdoor

SANS - Survey on application security programs

This story was updated on 28th September to report that the vulnerability has been patched.

Yesterday, we reported on an unholy trinity of Google vulnerabilities that put emails, private photos and website security at risk. Today came word of a new weakness that makes it easy for bad guys to silently put a backdoor in Gmail accounts.

The technique comes courtesy of Petko D. Petkov, a researcher at GNU Citizen, who writes in a blog post that the backdoor is installed simply by luring a victim to a specially crafted website while logged in to Gmail. The naughty site uses a sleight of hand known as a multipart/form-data POST, which writes a filter to Gmail that causes all email with attachments to be forwarded to collect@evil.com.

Petkov didn't provide a proof of concept or detailed documentation, but Ryan Naraine of the Zero Day blog writes here that the exploit was demonstrated for him. The bug "is particularly nasty because of the way the exploit works without any user action and the fact that it’s difficult for the average Gmail user to know that emails are being stolen," he writes.

Users aren't likely to notice a filter has been added unless they think to check the "Filters" section of their Gmail Settings.

A Google spokesman on Thursday said company engineers had repaired the problem.

"We worked quickly to address the recently reported vulnerability, and we rolled out a fix," he said. "We have not received any reports of this vulnerability being exploited."

Petkov's discovery is just the latest way people can be burned when entrusting their personal data to Google. Yesterday, various researchers showed how a vulnerability in the Google search appliance, which the company sells to webmasters, can be used to inject code and overwrite content on the pages of third-party sites. Another flaw made it possible to steal photos designated as private on the Picasa application.

Google also suffered from a vulnerability that resided in the so-called polls application, a part of Google Groups, that made it possible to steal contacts and messages from Gmail accounts. A Google spokesman on Monday afternoon said the flaw had been fixed. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.