Feeds

YouTube vuln pwns Justin Bieber fans

Shock site redirect in XSS chaos

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Hackers and pranksters began exploiting a newly discovered scripting flaw on YouTube on Sunday, provoking rumours that a virus was spreading on the site.

The cross-site scripting flaw (XSS) on the video-sharing website created a means for hackers to post JavaScript code in the comments sections of videos. The flaw meant that this JavaScript code was run on the machines of surfers viewing the same video clip.

Predictable enough, pranksters at 4Chan have begun using the vulnerability to redirect surfers looking for Justin Bieber video clips to goatse or false reports that the irksomely clean-cut Canadian singer had died in a car crash. Denizens of 4Chan are separately trying to rig an online poll to encourage Beiber to play North Korea in an upcoming tour.

In other cases the flaw has become the fodder of comment spam.

Google iced the problem hours after it first appeared, techie-buzz.com reports.

"We took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability on youtube.com that was discovered several hours ago," said Google. "Comments were temporarily hidden by default within an hour, and we released a complete fix for the issue in about two hours. We’re continuing to study the vulnerability to help prevent similar issues in the future."

The appearance of the vulnerability sparked rumours on Twitter and elsewhere that a virus was spreading across YouTube. A blog post by Chris Boyd of Sunbelt - containing screenshots - charts the genesis of this rumour, which is just the sort of thing that's likely be used in new anti-virus (scareware) scams.

Security watchers at the Internet Storm Centre note that the vulnerability on YouTube might potentially have been used for all manner of hacking attacks, including password stealing scams.

"They [hackers] could steal your YouTube cookies, which probably doesn't mean much to them, but they could also post various JavaScript code that will execute in your browser, in the context of YouTube," an ISC handler writes. "I've seen nasty XSS attacks that are used to fake whole login screens and we know how many people use [the] same passwords for multiple accounts." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.