Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/10/2009
05:37 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Demands Takedown Of Bing Cash Exploit

A flaw Microsoft's Bing cashback program allowed startup co-founder Samir Meghani get credit for over $2,000 in rebate cash through fake purchases.

Attorneys for Microsoft on Friday sent a letter to Samir Meghani, co-founder of price-comparison search engine Bountii.com, demanding that he remove a blog post containing information about generating fake Bing cashback payments.

Bing cashback is a search marketing program that provides online shoppers with cash rebate credit for purchases made through use of Microsoft's Bing search engine. It is a cost-per-acquisition program that allows merchants to specify the amount of promotional funds paid to Microsoft as a sales commission. Microsoft, which operates the program to promote Bing, then passes 100% of the commission to shoppers.

Bing users can earn up to $2,500 annually this way. A 60-day waiting period is required prior to disbursement.

To participate, merchants have the option of using one of two reporting mechanisms, pixel tracking or batch feed. The pixel tracking method isn't as reliable but allows cashback credits to appear immediately in customers' accounts rather than a day after the purchase.

In a blog post last Wednesday, Meghani outlined what he described as "an obvious flaw" in the pixel tracking implementation.

"Anyone can simulate the tracking pixel requests and post fake transactions to Bing," he wrote. "I'm not going to explain exactly how to generate the fake requests so that they actually post, but it's not complicated."

Meghani said that Bing didn't appear to be able to detect fake transactions immediately. He said that he has never bought anything using Bing cashback. Nonetheless, he said that his account showed a balance of $2080.06, the rebate total for two fake $1 orders placed in January and fake orders amounting to $104,000 in October.

Meghani also pointed out that Microsoft's Bing cashback implementation has another security flaw, relying on order IDs in a predictable series. The flaw could allow a malicious user to deny cashback rebates to legitimate users by using up available order ID numbers.

Meghani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following receipt of a cease-and-desist letter from Microsoft's legal representatives, Meghani on Saturday said in a blog post that he had complied with Microsoft's demand and removed the post about Bing's cashback flaw.

He also said that Microsoft has closed his Bing cashback account.

"The purpose of my post was to show an implementation problem, not to encourage defrauding Microsoft," he wrote. "I am surprised they would go through this much trouble to make me take down information that is obvious to anyone reading their documentation. I don't like dealing with lawyers, so I've decided to comply with their request."

A Microsoft representative did not respond to a request for comment.

Register now for Black Hat DCt, the largest and the most important security conference series in the world. It happens Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2010, in Arlington, Va. Find out more and register.

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-2018-11505
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
The Werewolf Online application 0.8.8 for Android allows attackers to discover the Firebase token by reading logcat output.
CVE-2018-6409
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. The module in charge of serving stored files gets the path from the database. Modifying the name of the file to serve on the corresponding ap_form table leads to a path traversal vulnerability via the download.php q parameter.
CVE-2018-6410
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. There is a download.php SQL injection via the q parameter.
CVE-2018-6411
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. When the form is set to filter a blacklist, it automatically adds dangerous extensions to the filters. If the filter is set to a whitelist, the dangerous extensions can be bypassed through ap_form_elements SQL Injection.
CVE-2018-11500
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in PublicCMS V4.0.20180210. There is a CSRF vulnerability in "admin/sysUser/save.do?callbackType=closeCurrent&navTabId=sysUser/list" that can add an admin account.