Risk

10/31/2008
04:25 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Defense Intelligence Agency Fixes Risky Web Site Code

The presence of a call to execute JavaScript code that resides on a Statcounter.com server in Ireland provided a weak link in the security chain that could have been exploited.

The Defense Intelligence Agency Web site, until earlier this week, exposed job applicants to potential privacy and security risks because it included a link to JavaScript code hosted on a third-party Web site.

While there's no evidence that the site leaked personal information, the presence of a call to execute JavaScript code that resides on a Statcounter.com server in Ireland provided a weak link in the security chain that could have been exploited to provide potentially valuable foreign intelligence about future DIA personnel.

Security researcher Bipin Gautam sent an e-mail to the Full Disclosure security mailing list earlier this week outlining his concerns.

In a follow-up e-mail to InformationWeek, he explained the issue. "If a Web site includes third-party JavaScript like stat counters, advertisement scripts, [or] banners called from third-party servers, the Web site is at risk of having to rely on the third party as well for overall security assurance of its Web site," he said.

In an e-mail, Robert "RSnake" Hansen, CEO of SecTheory and contributor to TechWeb security site Dark Reading, confirmed that the DIA Web site was unnecessarily vulnerable.

"It definitely is an issue if the Web site StatCounter.com were ever to get under an attacker's control," he said. "The site itself is not HTTPS, so it's already vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks."

The presence of that third-party JavaScript call, said Hansen, "could give an attacker complete cross-domain read/write into dia.mil."

The DIA was made aware of the risk following Gautam's initial post.

"This code was brought to DIA's attention by individuals within the agency on Monday," said a DIA spokesperson via e-mail. "Upon further investigation, it was resident only on the one page and was determined to be superfluous coding from a previous page incarnation. The code was deleted and no longer resides on DIA servers."

In response to the suggestion by one participant on the Full Disclosure mailing list that the cookie files used by StatCounter.com might have violated federal guidelines, the DIA spokesperson said that the DIA used session cookies (not persistent cookies) for its employment pages only and that the rest of dia.mil is cookie-free.

The spokesperson said, "DIA has followed and continues to follow Department of Defense policy on cookie usage."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Than Half of Users Reuse Passwords
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  5/24/2018
Is Threat Intelligence Garbage?
Chris McDaniels, Chief Information Security Officer of Mosaic451,  5/23/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-11471
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-25
Cockpit 0.5.5 has XSS via a collection, form, or region.
CVE-2018-11472
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-25
Monstra CMS 3.0.4 has Reflected XSS during Login (i.e., the login parameter to admin/index.php).
CVE-2018-11473
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-25
Monstra CMS 3.0.4 has XSS in the registration Form (i.e., the login parameter to users/registration).
CVE-2018-11474
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-25
Monstra CMS 3.0.4 has a Session Management Issue in the Administrations Tab. A password change at admin/index.php?id=users&action=edit&user_id=1 does not invalidate a session that is open in a different browser.
CVE-2018-11475
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-25
Monstra CMS 3.0.4 has a Session Management Issue in the Users tab. A password change at users/1/edit does not invalidate a session that is open in a different browser.