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.

Endpoint

7/30/2009
08:49 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'MonkeyFist' Launches Dynamic CSRF Web Attacks

Researchers release tool that automates cross-site request forgery attacks

BLACK HAT USA -- LAS VEGAS -- A pair of researchers here yesterday unleashed a tool that automatically executes dangerous cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks.

Shawn Moyer and Nathan Hamiel demonstrated how their tool, MonkeyFist, performs what they call "dynamic" CSRF attacks, or attacks on Websites that have put up preventative measures such as tokenization and session IDs. CSRF is when an attacker makes a Web request within the context of the victim's Web session.

The researchers say the emergence of integrated and aggregated content, such as buttons for Twitter or "Digg This," have opened up even more possibilities for these attacks, which take advantage of a pervasive but difficult-to-detect vulnerability in many Websites.

This "session-riding" attack basically lets the bad guy silently ride atop the victim's Web session. "You're [the attacker] already authenticated into a site, and the user's session, header, and cookie is already there," says Moyer, a hacker on the Security Assessments Team at FishNet Security. "You're already there, so what you're doing is getting the user to do something and you're riding on their session."

It lets an attacker steal credentials from a user, by luring the victim to his malicious Website, for example. The researchers demonstrated a CSRF attack using MonkeyFist on the global password function on Newsweek.com during their presentation here at Black Hat.

MonkeyFist is a Python-based Web server tool that listens and automates per-request, dynamic CSRF attacks. In the demo here, MonkeyFist pointed a Newsweek.com "user" to a "bad guy's" site via the publication's password reset process. The user then went to Reddit, the social networking news and digest site. "A hidden POST reset his password and took him to YouTube," where the researchers had set up a phony video, says Hamiel, senior security consultant with Idea Information Security.

"Using MonkeyFist makes it easy to do host-based CSRF," he says. "It lets you get session ID information through cross-referrer leakage."

The researchers say the tool also simplifies the previously onerous task of a POST-based CSRF attack.

To listen to a TechWeb/InformationWeek podcast interview with Moyer and Hamiel, go to this blog link.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
US Sets $5 Million Bounty For Russian Hacker Behind Zeus Banking Thefts
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  12/5/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19719
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Tableau Server 10.3 through 2019.4 on Windows and Linux allows XSS via the embeddedAuthRedirect page.
CVE-2019-19720
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Yabasic 2.86.1 has a heap-based buffer overflow in the yylex() function in flex.c via a crafted BASIC source file.
CVE-2019-19707
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
On Moxa EDS-G508E, EDS-G512E, and EDS-G516E devices (with firmware through 6.0), denial of service can occur via PROFINET DCE-RPC endpoint discovery packets.
CVE-2019-19708
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
The VisualEditor extension through 1.34 for MediaWiki allows XSS via pasted content containing an element with a data-ve-clipboard-key attribute.
CVE-2019-19709
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
MediaWiki through 1.33.1 allows attackers to bypass the Title_blacklist protection mechanism by starting with an arbitrary title, establishing a non-resolvable redirect for the associated page, and using redirect=1 in the action API when editing that page.