Feeds

Google's cookie crumbles under scripting attack

Taking the biscuit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Security researchers have unpicked a flaw in Google spreadsheets that allows cookie stealing. The cross-site scripting vulnerability enables attackers to use stolen cookies to access any Google service a user has registered, including accessing a victim's Google mail account.

Google has now plugged the vulnerability, discovered by security researcher Billy Rios. In a blog posting, Rios explains a caching flaw by Google, alongside problems in how browsers handle content-type headers, created a cookie stealing risk. A Google cookie is valid across all its sub domains, a convenience factor that greatly enhances the potential for mischief.

This particular XSS vulnerability on Google's domain takes advantage of how IE determines the content type of the HTTP response being returned by the server. Other browsers have problems in handling content-type headers properly, but this vulnerability is limited to IE.

Rios created a spreadsheet which contained HTML and a string of JavaScript code for viewing a user's cookie. He then saved this spreadsheet and generated a link for the spreadsheet to be served as a text-based CSV file, which IE mistakenly interprets as HTML.

Anyone viewing this doctored spreadsheet would hand over their cookies to Rios, or potentially an attacker, as explained here. Fortunately, Google has now rendered crafted table content as text rather than HTML.

Rios has been active in identifying XSS flaws in Google's web applications. Last week, he published an advisory about a flaw in Google code that lent itself to stealing users' passwords. Prior to that, Rios uncovered vulnerabilities in Google's Picasa, Heise Security adds. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
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
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.