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Chrome, Safari See Surge In Vulnerabilities

Cenzic's Web application security report for the first half of the year blames WebKit problems and phone software bugs for Safari and Chrome flaws.

The good news is that Web application vulnerabilities during the first two quarters of 2010 represent a smaller percentage (66%) of total commercial application vulnerabilities (4,019) than they did during the latter two quarters of 2009 (82% of 2652).

The bad news is that Web application vulnerabilities during the first half of the year (2,645) were about the same as the total number of vulnerabilities in commercial apps detected during the second half of 2009 while the overall number of application vulnerabilities in 2010 increased by 50%.

As noted in the Cenzic Q1,Q2 2010 Trends Report, it gets worse. Some 60% of these Web vulnerabilities still have no fix available and exploit code is publicly available for about 45% of them.

Comparing the Q1/Q2 2010 period to the Q3/Q4 2009 period, the report observes that while Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer had fewer vulnerabilities (59 vs. 77 and 40 vs. 44, respectively), Apple Safari and Google Chrome exhibited far more vulnerabilities (83 vs. 25 and 69 vs. 25).

Nonetheless, all of the browser makers have done a good job addressing vulnerabilities promptly, Cenzic says.

Cenzic attributes the soaring number of vulnerabilities in Safari and Chrome toWebKit, the open-source rendering engine used in both browsers, and to iPhone and Android flaws.

The security company's report lists the 10 most severe vulnerabilities identified during the first half of 2010. These are:

1) Oracle Java Deployment Toolkit Java Web Start Argument Injection Arbitrary Program Execution;
2) Tandberg Video Communication Server Admin Web Console secure.php Crafted HTTP;
3) Cisco Digital Media Player Unspecified Remote Display Content Injection;
4) Microsoft IE Dynamic OBJECT Tag Cross-domain Arbitrary File Access;
5) Linksys WAP54Gv3 firmware;
6) Joomanager Component for Joomla! index.php catid Parameter SQL Injection;
7) Newsfeeds Component for Joomla;
8) Stack-based buffer overflow in the WebDAV;
implementation in webservd in Sun Java System Web Server;
9) Use-after-free vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player 6.0.79;
10) Safari on Apple iPhone OS 3.1.3 for iPod touch allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash).

As noted in previous reports from the company, the Q1/Q2 report finds that most Web sites have security issues of some sort.

Ninety percent of Web sites were found to have information leaks, though the seriousness of such leaks is open to question given that Cenzic classifies HTML comments as leaks in some cases. Eighty percent of Web sites were found to have authorization and authentication flaws. Sixty-eight percent were found to be vulnerable to cross-site scripting.

On the more serious end of the spectrum, only 3% of Web sites were found to have remote code execution vulnerabilities, a marked decline from the latter half of 2009 when the figure stood at 32%.

Cenzic's report does not specify the number of Web sites it analyzed to arrive at these figures.

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