Feeds

Anti-virus vendor trio plug website flaws

XSS marks the spot

Seven Steps to Software Security

White-hat hackers have uncovered vulnerabilities on the websites of anti-virus firms that created a phishing risk.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs of varying severity were found on the websites of Symantec (here), Eset (here) and Panda Security (here) by Team Elite, the white-hat hackers who discovered the flaws. We notified all three firms of the issue and all three responded by plugging the flaws in good time.

Coding errors that give rise to cross-site scripting flaws are endemic in web development. This class of vulnerability might, for example, allow a hacker to present content from third-party sites (pop-ups, malicious scripts etc.) as if it came from a site a surfer was trying to visit and that site alone. As such these flaws are very handy for phishing attacks that attempt to trick the unwary into handing over their credentials to untrusted sites.

A XSS flaw on Twitter's website was exploited by the infamous onMouseover worm last month, a point security firms were jumping over themselves to comment on. The XSS flaws on anti-virus firms websites were not exploited and no harm was done.

Nonetheless Symantec et al should be especially careful to set a good example in web security. That's what these firms sell after all, but experience shows that XSS problems are commonplace even in the information security vendor market.

And because groups such as Team Elite go looking for them these problems regularly get a public airing. Even though there's evidence of miscreants exploiting these vulnerabilities that's no reason to dismiss them, as one Team Elite member explain in an email to El Reg.

"XSS vulnerability is a high level vulnerability which could allow an attacker to steal sensitive data such as login information and other credentials," he said. "I can assure you that our team does not do such things, we don't hack any websites, we simply deliver the proof of concept, spread the knowledge of existing vulnerability so the companies can correct those bugs for the good of their own."

"I've noticed that all three security vendors have fixed the bugs on their websites, which is very positive," he added. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.