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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/28/2010
03:12 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Black Hat DC: Researchers To Release Web Development Platform Hacking Tool

Tool tests for newly discovered class of vulnerabilities in popular Apache, Sun, Microsoft Web development platforms

A technique used in Web application development platforms that provides a constant look-and-feel across multiple Web pages can potentially expose sensitive user data, such as credit-card numbers, according to researchers, who at next week's Black Hat DC will demonstrate a new class of vulnerabilities in Apache MyFaces, Sun Mojarra, and Microsoft ASP.NET. They will also release a tool that tests for the flaws.

The so-called "view state" technique in both the MyFaces and Mojarra frameworks can be exploited such that an attacker can view user data -- think username, password, and credit-card number -- that's temporarily stored on the server during a session. View state is basically a method for tracking changes to visual components on a Web page that lets the Web server update a Web page without moving from that page.

"This is a fairly complicated vulnerability," says David Byrne, senior security consultant with Trustwave's SpiderLabs. "View state is something most people have heard of, but they aren't familiar with its inner workings. The tool we're going to release will help reveal those inner workings."

Byrne and colleague Rohini Sulatycki, security consultant with Trustwave SpiderLabs, will demonstrate the types of attacks that can be waged using this class of vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, Trustwave will release a security advisory about the vulnerabilities, along with steps to prevent them from exploitation.

"This is the first time a vulnerability of this nature has been discovered," Byrne says. Until now, developers have had the option of deploying best practices offered by all three framework vendors in how they configure the framework.

"But [some developers] haven't taken these recommendations seriously because there weren't any specific vulnerabilities associated with them before. Our findings demonstrate that these best practices are there to protect you," he says. "Organizations already following them will not be affected by this [type of vulnerability or attack]."

The best protection is to encrypt view state so data can't be read or modified, he says.

Apache MyFaces and Sun Mojarra can be exploited to read session data stored on the server while a user is interacting with a Website, while Microsoft ASP.NET has a less-critical vulnerability that could result in a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack, the researchers say.

Aside from XSS, the view-state attacks could be initiated via a phishing email, for instance. "Users would be tricked into visiting a malicious link pointed at the actual Website. This allows attackers to read information about [the users] in the server. So in a banking application, they would be able to read account numbers and credit card numbers," Byrne says.

And all it would take for a targeted attack would be pilfering the user's credentials to do further damage, he says. "View state would be a viable mechanism for a targeted attack," he says.

The danger, he says, is when these attacks are able to grab brokerage or bank account data.

Even so, these attacks are not as common as a SQL injection or XSS attack. "SQL injection is still by far the most common mechanism for breaching Web apps. It's easy to find and exploit when you're attacking a merchant ... for the bulk extraction of credit card numbers," Byrne says.

There's no patch to fix these flaws, either. "All developers have to do is perform a configuration change," he says, and encrypt view state.

Byrne and Sulatycki's hacking tool basically displays the content in view state, which is typically hidden on the Web page. "The tool will also modify view state so that when a tester resubmits it to the application, it will display the session variable contents and response to the server. That helps show what data is accessible and [visible] through view state," Byrne says.

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
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
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-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...