Feeds

Royal Bank of Scotland takes three weeks to squash nasty Worldpay bug

Amateur security sleuth spurned

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Updated This story was updated to reflect that the vulnerability has yet to be fixed and that RBS responded to an amateur security researcher's email. A previous version erroneously reported the security hole had been closed and that the bank never sent a reply.

After more than three weeks of notice, Royal Bank of Scotland has yet to close a glaring vulnerability that could allow miscreants to create convincing spoof pages that siphon customers' login credentials.

Like a similar pox that visited the house of PayPal last week, the cross-site scripting (XSS) bug on RBS's Worldpay.com service resides on a page protected by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which lulls some users into the mistaken belief it can't be tampered with.

Think again. Reg reader and amateur security researcher Adam Gritt discovered the hole last month and quickly realized it allowed him to inject custom javascript code that would intercept data users had typed onto a sensitive Worldpay page.

"I have tested this and confirm that unfortunately it does work on the live Worldpay website," Gritt wrote in an April 29 email to RBS. "Potentially, a fraudulent website could send the user to the Worldpay website in order to pay for their purchase, with ALL of the credit card details being then sent back to the hacker's server."

Despite including an ample amount of technical detail and a screen shot that demonstrated the vulnerability in action, Gritt received only a terse response that said: "We are in the process, not only to comply with PCI-DSS, to remove the option to use any (cross-site) scripting on the WorldPay payment pages." As of Wednesday, May 21, the defective page remained live.

"We have since reviewed our approach and changes are now being effected and will be in place later today," an RBS spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Screenshot of vulnerable Worldpay page

Is it safe? Probably not.

You'd think that RBS, as the world's fifth biggest bank, would have a mechanism in place for responding more quickly to reports like Gritt's, but this experience suggests otherwise. So for the time being, The Register is happy to bring these defects to the attention of those responsible (tips here, please.). Yeah, it's a messed up job, but somebody's got to do it. ®

Update

RBS has closed the hole.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
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
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
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

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.