Feeds

Adobe plagued by 16-month-old XSS bug

Not to mention banks and ecommerce sites

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More than 16 months after researchers warned that critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash files leave websites vulnerable to phishing and other serious attacks, a wide array of pages - some hosted on Adobe.com itself - remain vulnerable.

The problem stems from buggy SWF files that generate banner ads and other animated content. In December 2007, a team of researchers discovered the files could be exploited by attackers to tamper with websites belonging to banks, government agencies and other trusted organizations. Over the next few months, the researchers repeatedly warned webmasters the problem would be difficult to fix, because it would require potentially millions of graphics files to be regenerated, often from scratch.

Those warnings now appear to be prescient. As the website XSSed has documented, even Adobe.com has failed to contain the offending SWF files. Other offenders include the Marfin Egnatia Bank and Greek electronics vendor Plaiso.gr. At time of writing, more than 24 hours after the XSSed item was published, all three sites remained vulnerable.

"Anyone who includes one of those ads in their site is now susceptible to cross-site scripting and some other things," said Jeff Williams, CEO of web application security firm Aspect Security who reviewed the posting. "It's definitely not good."

One reason the vulnerability has been so difficult to fix is that it requires multiple steps. First, web masters must patch the application they used to render the SWF files. Then they must examine every file hosted on their website and regenerate each one found to be buggy. The flaw resides inside the file's clickTAG= parameter, which can easily be manipulated to execute malicious scripts in the browsers of those who view the vulnerable content.

screenshot of Adobe website displaying XSS-generated window

This XSS brought to you by Adobe

At the very least, sites that host the vulnerable files open themselves up to phishing attacks. In some cases, the vulnerability can be used to steal cookie files used to log a user in to sensitive parts of a website. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
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.