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7/3/2007
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Security Star Shares Top 5 Most Popular Web 2.0 Services Sure To Be A Hit With Hackers

As I was checking out what's going on today (and, let's be honest, thinking about my July 4 plans), I came across a blog posting that I couldn't resist sharing with InformationWeek readers. It's entitled "The Top 5 most Popular Web2.0 Services Hackers Cannot live Without," and it includes mashups, RSS readers, and an online database app.

As I was checking out what's going on today (and, let's be honest, thinking about my July 4 plans), I came across a blog posting that I couldn't resist sharing with InformationWeek readers. It's entitled "The Top 5 most Popular Web2.0 Services Hackers Cannot live Without," and it includes mashups, RSS readers, and an online database app.The blog is the brainchild of 22-year-old, London-based security consultant (and self-proclaimed "life-hacker") Petko D Petkov, who goes by the handle "pdp." More info about Petkov can be found here. Petkov's list is based on the findings he recently presented at the 2007 Open Web Application Security Project, or OWASP, Appsec Conference in Italy.

1) The Web 2.0 service that Petkov lists first is Yahoo Pipes, which he refers to as the "web hacker power tool" that can't "be compared to any other service available on-line," not even Google Mashup Editor. Yahoo describes Pipes as a hosted service that lets the user remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. Petkov calls Yahoo Pipes "the most elegant tool for all sorts of malicious purposes on-line."

2) Dapper is Web 2.0's "scraping service," Petkov writes, and is most suitable for community-supported malware code. In short, Dapper makes it easier to create worms that propagate across the entire Web.

3) Feed43 takes Dapper to another level, allowing the malware writer to create regular expression-like rules, Petkov writes. Pronounced "feed for free," it's an online service that serves as a proxy between a news reader application and third-party Web sites that don't support RSS natively, allowing you to convert any Web page into an RSS feed. "Do you want to extract the latest Google Hacking database entries, or you may prefer to look for SQL Injection payloads? No problem," Petkov writes.

4) Zoho Creator is an online database application, or as Petkov puts it, "MS Access for the Web." The application lets you do things like phish users using client-side JavaScript. "For example, create a new database that has fields for the username, the password and of course the website where the credentials were retrieved from. Now link that to your JavaScript. When you hijack the login forms [you are] after, just send the credentials across Zoho. The Service will store them for you and will send you a confirmation email," he writes, adding, "I'm loving it!"

5) Google Reader RSS reader "is one of the most powerful feed backup and mashup services on-line," Petkov writes. The reader can be used to backup stolen credentials and mash them with other malicious feeds. "It is so powerful that you can export to mashed feeds again into ATOM and then feed it back to your Trojans," he concludes.

Petkov calls a "security mashup" a way to create largely distributed testing infrastructures, a mechanism for instantly accruing dynamic knowledge that, he admits, has a lot of potential for bad purposes, and a way to bypass the "same original policies" to an extent.

Who knew Web 2.0 could be so dangerous?

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