Feeds

Amazon button leaked user traffic

Shopping button let sneaks snoop

High performance access to file storage

Amazon is the latest company to come under fire for misusing its browser extension bar, with security researcher Krzysztof Kotowicz accusing the company of invading privacy via its 1Button extension for Chrome.

The blogger, in a post entitled Jealous of PRISM? Use "Amazon 1 Button" Chrome extension to sniff all HTTPS websites! says 1Button not only provides a side-channel attack for SSL encrypted data on user machines: it sends some user Web activity information over plain text.

And even worse: as he points out, if you're a 1Button for Chrome user, you've given the extension permission to do all of this stuff.

Kotowicz's accusations are extensive and specific. He says the Chrome extension:

  • Reports URLs users visit to Amazon (using HTTPS);
  • Attaches an external script (currently harmless) to Websites users visit;
  • Reports the content of some Websites users visit back to Alexa – including Google searches over HTTPS and some search results.

It's this last that Kotowicz describes as “evil”: URLs and extracted page information travelled to widgets.alexa.com as plain text over HTTP.

Then there's the configuration files. As Kotowicz writes: “upon installation (and then periodically) [the 1Button extension] requests and processes two config files.

“[The] first file defines what HTTPS sites can be inspected. The second file defines URL patterns to watch for, and XPath expressions to extract content being reported back to Alexa. The files are fetched from these URLs:

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/bit/toolbar/3.0/toolbar/httpsdatalist.dat
  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/bit/toolbar/3.0/toolbar/search_conf.js

“Yes. The configuration for reporting extremely private data is sent over plaintext HTTP. WTF, Amazon?”

He posted exploit code at github, an action was sufficient to persuade Amazon to repair one flaw: data is now sent over HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Amazon Chrome 1Button Permission Screenshot

Check your permissions: why would you click 'yes'?

However, extent of the data captured by the button suggests it's far more invasive than is necessary for a shopping button. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.