Feeds

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

New levels of XSS for Boris'n'Ken

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.