Vulnerabilities / Threats
9/11/2008
06:14 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

CookieMonster Can Steal HTTPS Cookies

The Python-based tool actively gathers insecure SSL information and records that as well as normal HTTP cookies to Firefox-compatible cookie files.

A so-called CookieMonster attack is coming, and if you use Web-based services that involve login credentials, such as Web e-mail or online banking, you may want to turn your fear and paranoia dial to 11, one researcher warns.

"CookieMonster is a Python-based tool that actively gathers insecure HTTPS cookies, and records these as well as normal http cookies to Firefox compatible cookie files," explains Mike Perry, the security researcher who created the software, in a documentation file.

HTTPS is supposed to be secure; the "S" stands for Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL.

Sadly, it turns out that many Web sites do not properly set the "Encrypted Sessions Only" property of their cookies. Such sites will send HTTPS cookies in the open, unprotected. This allows an attacker to conduct a cross-site request forgery attack, to inject spoofed data into any Web page that the user visits, and thereby retrieve related cookies.

Because HTTPS cookies are full of tasty authentication information, they can be used to access online banking accounts, Webmail accounts, and the like.

"The most crucial aspect of this sort of attack that most people seem to miss is its ability to cull arbitrary cookies for a list of insecure domains from every client IP on a network even when the user is not using those sites at the time," Perry explains in a blog post. "The second most crucial aspect is how the tool is still able to compromise arbitrary insecure SSL sites in the common case without the need to provide such a target list."

Perry has made CookieMonster available to a limited set of security researchers and plans to make it available to the public shortly.

Perry proposes the following test to see whether sites you use are vulnerable: "To check your sites under Firefox, go to the Privacy tab in the Preferences window, and click on 'Show Cookies.' For a given site, inspect the individual cookies for the top level name of the site, and any subdomain names, and if any have 'Send For: Encrypted connections only,' delete them. Then try to visit your site again. If it still allows you in, the site is insecure and your session can be stolen. You should report this to the site maintainer."

Having tried these steps with two "Encrypted connections only" Google cookies, Google appears to be vulnerable to a CookieMonster attack. A Google spokesperson confirmed this to be the case and said the company's engineers are working with Perry to eliminate the vulnerability.

"Gmail users concerned about this issue can protect themselves by enabling the always-https option in their accounts," the Google spokesperson said in an e-mail. "The fix we're planning to roll out shortly is aimed at users who haven't activated the https-only preference."

Google is hardly the only company affected. Perry last month posted a list of sites that appeared to be vulnerable at the time. Among the sites listed are various banks and travel sites.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: No, you were supposed to display UNICODE characters!
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
As cyber attackers become more sophisticated and enterprise defenses become more complex, many enterprises are faced with a complicated question: what is the risk of an IT security breach? This report delivers insight on how today's enterprises evaluate the risks they face. This report also offers a look at security professionals' concerns about a wide variety of threats, including cloud security, mobile security, and the Internet of Things.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.