Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


08:15 AM

It's More Than JavaScript

There are lots of other ways an attacker can have fun with your Web applications

4:15 PM -- JavaScript has gotten a bad rap in recent years -- no thanks to me and my colleagues and friends in the security research community. But it gets a lot of blame where blame isn’t necessarily due.

JavaScript isn't the only client-side technology that exposes users to security threats. Java, ActiveX, VBScript, and Flash all represent potentially dangerous technologies that could allow a malicious attacker to exploit unsuspecting Web surfers. Cross-site scripting has made the situation worse, because suddenly improper filters in a benign Website now allows attackers to add their malicious code.

The most popular solution for this sort of attack is "turn off JavaScript." But in the four other technologies listed, JavaScript isn't a requirement to perform the nefarious tasks -- and turning it off won't solve the problem.

Next week at the Black Hat conference, Jeremiah Grossman and I will be speaking about these "other" attacks in our talk entitled "Hacking Intranet Websites from the Outside (Take 2): Fun With and Without JavaScript Malware." The session will look at some of the exploits that can be performed without the requirement for JavaScript –- and some ways to attack the mitigation strategies developed by people who think that JavaScript is the only culprit.

Without using JavaScript, an attacker can do intranet port scanning, history theft, cross site request forgeries, and more. Jeremiah Grossman will describe these attacks and explain why simply turning off JavaScript is no longer a valid response to many Internet threats.

Still, JavaScript and VBScript are the languages of choice for browser exploitation, and they are the origin of the vast majority of exploits. That said, I will show how, as a man-in-the-middle, an attacker can bypass some of the policies employed by security software designed to protect against these attacks.

Our talk will also explain why modern laptops are being treated as firewalls, and how their privileged access using VPNs can lead to intranet exploitation and information leakage.

We're a long way from solving these problems completely. But, as a community, we are beginning to really understand the full extent of the problem.

— RSnake is a red-blooded lumberjack whose rants can also be found at Ha.ckers and F*the.net. Special to Dark Reading

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/22/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
Is Zero Trust the Best Answer to the COVID-19 Lockdown?
Dan Blum, Cybersecurity & Risk Management Strategist,  5/20/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
The Knock Knock plugin before 1.2.8 for Craft CMS allows IP Whitelist bypass via an X-Forwarded-For HTTP header.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
The Knock Knock plugin before 1.2.8 for Craft CMS allows malicious redirection.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
EM-HTTP-Request 1.1.5 uses the library eventmachine in an insecure way that allows an attacker to perform a man-in-the-middle attack against users of the library. The hostname in a TLS server certificate is not verified.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
An issue was discovered in the Image Resizer plugin before 2.0.9 for Craft CMS. There are CSRF issues with the log-clear controller action.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
An issue was discovered in the Image Resizer plugin before 2.0.9 for Craft CMS. There is stored XSS in the Bulk Resize action.