Feeds

Plague of web bugs descend on British sites

HSBC, Barclays, The Telegraph bitten

Website security in corporate America

It's been a busy week for high-profile web vulnerabilities, with discoveries of careless bugs on the sites of three British companies.

Online banking sites for HSBC and Barclays Group and the website for The Telegraph were caught with their pants down, as hackers published screenshots and other details that showed all three were susceptible to attacks that could compromise the security of people who visit the properties.

The XSS, or cross-site scripting, errors on HSBC were still present on a variety of HSBC sites on Monday afternoon California time, some 48 hours after the XSSed blog first reported them. The bugs allowed attackers to inject javascript and content into HSBC websites simply by tricking a user into clicking on a specially manipulated web address.

"Malicious people can exploit these bugs to conduct phishing attacks and infect bank customers and site visitors with crimeware," the blog warned.

The accompanying screenshot shows a browser that is pointed at an HSBC site for Hong Kong users. But because of flaws in the way the site was designed, the XSSed researchers were able to superimpose their own banner and article into the browser window.

Screenshot of HSBC website bug

This XSS brought to you by HSBC

The researchers said Barclays was vulnerable to similar bugs, but as of Monday afternoon, they appeared to have been fixed.

Around the same time XSSed report was released, members of the HackersBlog published details of a SQL injection vulnerability in the main website for The Telegraph. The vulnerability looked especially severe because it exposed sensitive system files to those who knew how to append database commands to the website address.

Jeremiah Grossman, CTO of WhiteHat Security, a firm that specializes in web application security, has estimated that more than two-thirds of websites suffer from at least one XSS vulnerability. Such vulnerabilities put them at increased risk of phishing expeditions, as well as attacks that expose customer authentication cookies.

Grossman has said at least 16 of the top 1,000 websites are affected by SQL injection vulnerabilities, which result from web applications that fail to sanitize characters entered into search boxes and other web fields. That allows attackers to read and in some cases alter database contents by piping commands directly to a site's back end. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
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.