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Vulnerabilities / Threats

10/30/2017
05:10 PM
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Google Bug Database Flaws Expose Severe Vulnerabilities

A security researcher accessed the most critical bugs in Google products and services by spoofing a corporate email address.

A security researcher was able to view some of Google's most severe vulnerabilities due to flaws in the company's internal bug tracking system, he said. The Issue Tracker, or Buganizer, as it's known internally, is used among researchers and bug hunters to submit issues found in Google products and services.

External users only get to see "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to issues submitted to the Buganizer, says Alex Birsan, who found the vulnerabilities. Birsan spoofed a Google corporate email address to enter the system's back end. The system believed he was an employee and allowed him to view bug reports and mark those he wanted updates on.

Birsan discovered thousands of Google bug reports in his research. Some flaws were designated "priority zero," a term for the most dangerous vulnerabilities. He was compensated a total of $15,600 in bug bounties from Google as a result of his work.

"Bug trackers used within prominent tech companies can be a hugely lucrative target for attackers looking to improve their 0-day capabilities," says Craig Young, computer security researcher for Tripwire's Vulnerability and Exposures Research Team. Access to a private bug tracker gives the attackers lead time toward crafting an exploit as well as for finding related bugs before the public security community has a chance to do so."

Read Birsan's full write-up here.

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