Feeds

Under the microscope: The bug that caught PayPal with its pants down

Payment giant suffers textbook SQL injection flaw

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Security researchers have published a more complete rundown of a recently patched SQL injection flaw on PayPal's website.

The Vulnerability Laboratory research team received a $3,000 reward after discovering a remote SQL injection web vulnerability in the official PayPal GP+ Web Application Service. The critical flaw, which could have been remotely exploitable, allowed hackers to inject commands through the vulnerable web app into the backend databases, potentially tricking them into coughing up sensitive data in the process.

The Polish security researchers reported the vulnerability to the eBay subsidiary in early January. Vulnerability Laboratory produced a proof-of-concept demo to illustrate its concerns when it reported the vulnerability to PayPal. The payment-processing outfit patched the flaw in late January.

There's no evidence that the flaw was ever abused, which is just as well since its potential impact was grave, as an advisory by Vulnerability Laboratory (extract below) explains:

The vulnerability is located in the analysis all review module with the bound vulnerable page id parameter listing. When a customer is processing to request the link to, for example, page 7 the server will include the integer value not encoded or parsed in the URL path. Attackers can exchange the integer page with their own SQL statements to compromise the application DBMS and all PayPal accounts.

The second problem is the server is bound to the main site auth which allows after a SQL and DBMS compromise via inject to exploit the bound PayPal inc services. Attackers can access all database tables and columns to steal the GP+ database content and disclose information, deface the website phish account or extract database password/username information.

The vulnerability can be exploited without user inter action but with low privileged application user account to visit the restricted webpage with a not expired session. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in web application context manipulation via DBMS injection, website defacement, hijack of database accounts via DBMS extract, information disclosure of database content, data lost or full DBMS compromise.

Benjamin Kunz Mejri of Vulnerability Laboratory led the research into the flaw. An advisory by the Polish researchers suggests that the vulnerability could be patched by a "secure parse of the page parameter request when processing to list via GET method" combined with changes to prevent the display of errors. It's unclear if PayPal followed this approach or identified a different way to nuke the flaw.

PayPal issued a brief and bland statement confirming that the flaw was "not impacting our website" at the time the payout for the vulnerability became public in late January. PayPal declined El Reg's invitation this week to comment on Vulnerability Laboratory's updated advisory. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
'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
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
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
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?