Feeds

Attention Symantec: There's a bug crawling on your website

XSS strikes again

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Symantec has been outed for hosting gaping security holes on its website that could allow miscreants to remotely execute malicious code on the computers of people who visit it.

The XSS, or cross-site scripting, bugs allow attackers to steal the web cookies Symantec sets on visitors' hard drives. Such cookies are frequently used to prove a visitor has already entered a valid password, so the ability to lift the file could be a non-trivial lapse of Symantec's security.

Other exploits showed it was possible to inject images from third-party websites such as imageshack.us. They were documented by a hacking collective that calls itself t3am3lite. Less-charitable hackers could exploit the hole to inject javascript or other types of code that exploits unpatched vulnerabilities or carries out other malicious acts.

It's the latest example of a large company or organization that should know better succumbing to garden-variety web bugs that put their users at risk. Along with SQL injections and CSRFs, or cross-site request forgeries, XSS attacks leave end-users open to malware and phishing attacks while visiting trusted websites.

Other sites that have suffered from them include anti-virus providers Kaspersky and BitDefender, financial services American Express and PayPal (repeatedly), and large government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security.

Screenshot of Symantec XSS bug in action

This cookie brought to you by XSS

The bugs can jeopardize a site's good standing with the PCI, or payment card industry, or possibly other regulatory frameworks.

Symantec officials have been notified of the bugs and are working to eradicate them, but at time of publication, the holes were still wide open. You can see more screen shots here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.