Feeds

Thwarted dev sets Instasheep to graze on Facebook accounts

Zuck-land tried to fix crumbling cookie with HTTPS but developer won't bite

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

London developer Stevie Graham has built an Instagram stealer dubbed Instasheep that can hijack accounts over public networks.

Graham (@stevegraham) published Instasheep - a play on the 2010 Facebook stealer Firesheep - after claiming Facebook refused to pay a bug bounty for his reported flaws affecting the Instagram iOS app.

Facebook was reportedly aware of the bug and was working on a fix by deploying HTTPS across its portfolio.

The dev found a session cookie passed back to the application could be stolen by attackers residing on the victim's network that would provide access to Instagram accounts.


"I think this attack is extremely severe because it allows full session hijack and is easily automated," Graham wrote in the Github post containing the tool.

"I could go to the Apple Store tomorrow and reap thousands of accounts in one day, and then use them to post spam."

He wrote on YCombinator that Facebook's security team said the flaw was previously reported and that Instagram was deploying HTTPS "for all endpoints". Menlo Park reportedly noted that the need to attack via man-in-the-middle on public networks made the attack difficult for most punters, a claim which he rejected.

"I don't agree the barrier to exploit is high. All it takes is one sufficiently skilled person to release a tool so simple even a script kiddie can use it. At that point Pandora's Box has been blown apart."

Facebook acknowledged the flaw adding it was working on deploying HTTPS.

Instagram was deploying HTTPS across its network including Instagram Direct launched late last year.

Latency-sensitive read endpoints such as the Instagram main feed would be slapped with HTTPS as performance issues were addressed.

Speediness was one of the bug bears with HTTPS deployments. In 2012, hipster bazaar Etsy detailed the problems it encountered as it deployed HTTPS, HTTP Strict Transport Security and two factor authentication, including a "thrilling explosion" of errors. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.