Feeds

XSS flaws poke ridicule at entertainment industry

MPAA spanked by Pirate Bay backlash

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Cheeky crackers used a cross-site scripting flaw on the web sites of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to inject listings from controversial torrent links site The Pirate Bay.

Vektor, a member of the Team Elite group of hackers, smuggled links culled from the The Pirate Bay into content served up when surfers visited the MPAA's recommended list of sites. The MPAA's legal action against The Pirate makes the supposed endorsement ironic and embarrassing, if not completely unexpected.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) security flaws on websites are all too commonplace and the MPAA is a high-profile target, especially after the four defendants in The Pirate Bay trial were found guilty in a recent high-profile trial. So it was only really a question of time until hackers managed to find a chink in its armour to exploit.

Earlier denial of service attacks against entertainment industry websites scored limited successes in the aftermath of The Pirate Bay verdict on 17 April.

According to Vektor, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) website is vulnerable to similar flaws as those he exploited to embarrass the MPAA earlier this week, Softpedia reports. Vektor used this flaw to inject a listings from Mininova, another well known torrent tracker, into pop-up windows displayed when users visited portions of the RIAA website.

Although the MPAA has reportedly addressed the flaws on its main website following the attack, other MPAA-controlled websites involved in movie ratings remain vulnerable to much the same type of exploit.

Screengrabs illustrating the mischief wrought by Team Elite on the RIAA and movierating.org websites can be found via Softpedia here.

The vulnerabilities create a means for rogue iFrames from third-party servers to be presented to surfers as if they came from the site they are visiting, when in reality they come from locations determined by hackers.

XSS flaws on both the MPAA (examples here) and RIAA (here) websites have cropped up from time to time in the past, a quick search of security website XSSed reveals.

Security suppliers, such as application security firm Fortify, said that Vector's attacks against the RIAA and MPAA were each effectively accidents waiting to happen.

"That such sites are open to XSS-driven incursions and alterations comes as no surprise, given the fact that so many sites are poorly programmed and therefore open to such attacks," said Richard Kirk, a director at Fortify. "The MPAA is lucky that Vektor's attack was a proof-of-concept one, and intended as something of a joke. The next time they - and other organisations whose sites are vulnerable to XSS-driven attacks, may not be so lucky," he added. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.