Feeds

Flaws on ESPN Fantasy Football site make cheating a snap

Game fixing trivial

Security for virtualized datacentres

ESPN's Fantasy Football site is riddled with flaws that allow players to rig games, a security researcher says.

The online contest allows players to pretend they are owners of American football teams as they compete against other imaginary owners to pick a winning lineup from real-life members of the National Football League. As the season progresses, the fantasy teams rise or fall based on the performance of the real-life football stars. Many participants play for fun in leagues made up of friends or colleagues, but it's not uncommon for players to compete for money, too.

Playing for cash on ESPN's site might not be such a good idea, according to security researcher Billy Rios. He says it's trivial for anyone with an account to make changes to other players' teams simply by manipulating the text strings in their browser's address bar.

“Anyone can add, drop, or trade players for any other team (not just in your league) by making some changes to the URL,” he tells The Reg. “You just have to get the correct playerID and change one value in the query string. I didn't use any special tools and anyone can do these changes straight from the browser.”

Rios explains here how he used the technique to force a rival player's team to accept Rex Grossman, a Chicago Bears quarterback whose on-field performance has won him the title of kid suckiness from one sports pundit. (Out of fairness, Rios added the player to the rival's bench, not the starting lineup, and then sent an email purporting to come from Grossman saying “put me in coach!”)

Rios, whose online moniker is XSSniper, says he's notified ESPN of the glitch. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.