Feeds

Domain hijack fears over Gmail exploit

Undead multi-part exploit walks again

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A Gmail exploit which might be abused to allow domain hijacking has reared its ugly head once more.

The reported vulnerability revolves around the potential ability for hackers to create a malicious filter without needing to obtain the login credentials for a Gmail account. A flaw of this type hit web designer David Airey back in December 2007. Security watchers thought that Google had a handle on the problem, but now it seems that this confidence might have been misplaced.

The exploit kicks off by tricking surfers into visiting a maliciously constructed website. This site uses cross-site request forgery trickery to set up a filter on a targeted Gmail account which forwards email to a hacker's account while deleting it from a victim's inbox. The exploit involves stealing a cookie and creating a fake iFrame with a URL containing the variables that instruct Gmail to create a filter, as explained in greater detail here.

The creation of a malicious filter means, for example, that if a Gmail address is used as the contact details for domain registration then black hats can use a domain host's password reset features to hijack an account. The host sends account recovery instructions to a compromised account which forwards these emails to a hacker. Marks are left none the wiser, because the malicious filter means that tell-tale emails are deleted from their account before they get a chance to read them.

Geek Condition posted an explanation of the possible exploit, using password recovery and account hijacking at GoDaddy as an example, here.

ReadWriteWeb has a time line on the history of this type of attack here.

The most straightforward way to defend against the attack is to avoid using Gmail as the contact email address for sensitive accounts, such as those held with domain registrars. Use of the Firefox NoScript extension, to block exploits, and regularly checking Gmail filters for potential malfeasance would be sensible precautions. To fix the flaw, Geek Condition suggests, Gmail needs to change cryptographic credentials after every request rather than just after every session. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.