Feeds

Adobe plagued by 16-month-old XSS bug

Not to mention banks and ecommerce sites

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.