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.

Risk

7/20/2007
07:19 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Tool Eases CSRF Bug Discovery

Tool will show how widespread CSRF bugs are in Websites, researchers say

If you think Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities aren't easy to find or exploit on your Website, think again. A researcher has released a tool that makes it easier to test sites for CSRF vulnerabilities -- and find out how prevalent the emerging bugs really are.

The online tool lets you use the HTTP "post" request to check for CSRF bugs. Chris Shiflet, principal with OmniTI and creator of the newly released CSRF Redirector tool, says there's a misconception among Web developers that testing for CSRF bugs with a "post" request is more difficult or inconvenient, so CSRF attacks using "post" aren't as common as those using an HTTP "get" request.

"I think this can help highlight how easily CSRF vulnerabilities can be exploited, even when the forged request must be a 'post' request," Shiflet says. "Often, inconvenience is considered a safeguard" for a site, but that's not really the case.

It's easier to test for CSRF bugs with a "get" request because visiting a URL initiates such a request, while a "post" requires the tester to build an HTML form, Shiflet says. "So any bug that can be exploited with 'get' is easy to test for," he says. "It's marginally less convenient with 'post,' so this [tool] is trying to remove that slight barrier of inconvenience."

CSRF worries Web researchers because it can potentially cause serious damage to Websites and enterprises. (See CSRF Bug Runs Rampant, Eight Vulnerabilities You May Have Missed, and CSRF Vulnerability: A 'Sleeping Giant'.)

"For some reason, CSRF seems to be hovering just below the radar of most Web developers," Shiflet says. "And in my experience [so far], it seems to be exploited far less [than XSS] as well."

To see how much interest hackers have in CSRF, Shiflet even purposely placed a CSRF bug on his personal Website and then mentioned it in his blog. Yet, only once has someone tried to exploit it, he says. "I get cross-site scripting-related attack [attempts] in the hundreds a day... I find that very interesting. There are far fewer attempts on CSRF."

He thinks it's more of an awareness issue, rather than a complexity issue, since XSS is more widely known and understood than CSRF. "Exploiting CSRF is equally as easy as cross-site scripting."

"This doesn't change the exploitability of the attack vector much -- certainly, people were able to do this before, and will continue to be able to do this without the tool," says RSnake, a.k.a. Robert Hansen, CEO at SecTheory LLC. "However, what it does provide is the ability for researchers to quickly prototype examples to demonstrate the problem."

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • SecTheory LLC
  • OmniTI Inc. 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
    Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
    HackerOne Drops Mobile Voting App Vendor Voatz
    Dark Reading Staff 3/30/2020
    Limited-Time Free Offers to Secure the Enterprise Amid COVID-19
    Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  3/31/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Current Issue
    6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
    This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
    Flash Poll
    State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
    State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
    Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-11518
    PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
    Zoho ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus before 5815 allows unauthenticated remote code execution.
    CVE-2020-5347
    PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
    Dell EMC Isilon OneFS versions 8.2.2 and earlier contain a denial of service vulnerability. SmartConnect had an error condition that may be triggered to loop, using CPU and potentially preventing other SmartConnect DNS responses.
    CVE-2020-5348
    PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
    Dell Latitude 7202 Rugged Tablet BIOS versions prior to A28 contain a UAF vulnerability in EFI_BOOT_SERVICES in system management mode. A local unauthenticated attacker may exploit this vulnerability by overwriting the EFI_BOOT_SERVICES structure to execute arbitrary code in system management mode.
    CVE-2020-8142
    PUBLISHED: 2020-04-03
    A security restriction bypass vulnerability has been discovered in Revive Adserver version < 5.0.5 by HackerOne user hoangn144. Revive Adserver, like many other applications, requires the logged in user to type the current password in order to change the e-mail address or the password. It was how...
    CVE-2020-8143
    PUBLISHED: 2020-04-03
    An Open Redirect vulnerability was discovered in Revive Adserver version < 5.0.5 and reported by HackerOne user hoangn144. A remote attacker could trick logged-in users to open a specifically crafted link and have them redirected to any destination.The CSRF protection of the “/...