Feeds

Holes in London Mayor websites leave them open to 'e-gaffes'

New levels of XSS for Boris'n'Ken

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Ethical hackers have discovered potentially serious vulnerabilities on the websites of the two principal candidates in today's London Mayoral election.

Both Boris Johnson’s and Ken Livingstone's campaign websites suffer from ‘cross-scripting’ (XSS) vulnerabilities that make it possible for hackers to redirect users to their opponents' websites, or any other site on the web, penetration testing firm SecureTest warns.

An unexpected endorsement

For example, it is simple to have a picture of Boris appear on Ken’s web site or vice versa, as can be seen by following from this Ken shot on Boris’s site link here. The cross-site scripting vulnerabilities on Boris and Ken’s sites are exploited using a simple redirect. In the case of Boris’s site, this is in the search function.

Ken Munro, managing director of SecureTest, explained that the picture prank does not involve hacking either site as such. "It just involves sending somebody a link that pulls content off a third-party site as if it came from the first site, which shouldn't be allowed to happen," he told El Reg.

SecureTest's team of ethical penetration testers found these weaknesses after reading reports of similar vulnerabilities on Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama’s websites in the US.

Munro said: "This is a classic internet prank that could have very damaging consequences. It is entertaining to direct potential Ken voters to Boris’s website or vice versa. What would happen, however, if some prankster redirected traffic to a pornographic website, or one which downloaded damaging spyware onto a user's computer?

Depending on their nature, cross-site scripting vulnerabilities create a means for hackers to insert a script redirecting users to another website entirely, or an 'iframe' that forces the site to display the content of a third party site. Customers of an Italian online bank were recently attacked in a very similar manner - however, that attack redirected their usernames and passwords to a hacker. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.