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

9/11/2008
06:14 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

CookieMonster Can Steal HTTPS Cookies

The Python-based tool actively gathers insecure SSL information and records that as well as normal HTTP cookies to Firefox-compatible cookie files.

A so-called CookieMonster attack is coming, and if you use Web-based services that involve login credentials, such as Web e-mail or online banking, you may want to turn your fear and paranoia dial to 11, one researcher warns.

"CookieMonster is a Python-based tool that actively gathers insecure HTTPS cookies, and records these as well as normal http cookies to Firefox compatible cookie files," explains Mike Perry, the security researcher who created the software, in a documentation file.

HTTPS is supposed to be secure; the "S" stands for Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL.

Sadly, it turns out that many Web sites do not properly set the "Encrypted Sessions Only" property of their cookies. Such sites will send HTTPS cookies in the open, unprotected. This allows an attacker to conduct a cross-site request forgery attack, to inject spoofed data into any Web page that the user visits, and thereby retrieve related cookies.

Because HTTPS cookies are full of tasty authentication information, they can be used to access online banking accounts, Webmail accounts, and the like.

"The most crucial aspect of this sort of attack that most people seem to miss is its ability to cull arbitrary cookies for a list of insecure domains from every client IP on a network even when the user is not using those sites at the time," Perry explains in a blog post. "The second most crucial aspect is how the tool is still able to compromise arbitrary insecure SSL sites in the common case without the need to provide such a target list."

Perry has made CookieMonster available to a limited set of security researchers and plans to make it available to the public shortly.

Perry proposes the following test to see whether sites you use are vulnerable: "To check your sites under Firefox, go to the Privacy tab in the Preferences window, and click on 'Show Cookies.' For a given site, inspect the individual cookies for the top level name of the site, and any subdomain names, and if any have 'Send For: Encrypted connections only,' delete them. Then try to visit your site again. If it still allows you in, the site is insecure and your session can be stolen. You should report this to the site maintainer."

Having tried these steps with two "Encrypted connections only" Google cookies, Google appears to be vulnerable to a CookieMonster attack. A Google spokesperson confirmed this to be the case and said the company's engineers are working with Perry to eliminate the vulnerability.

"Gmail users concerned about this issue can protect themselves by enabling the always-https option in their accounts," the Google spokesperson said in an e-mail. "The fix we're planning to roll out shortly is aimed at users who haven't activated the https-only preference."

Google is hardly the only company affected. Perry last month posted a list of sites that appeared to be vulnerable at the time. Among the sites listed are various banks and travel sites.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
Stay-at-Home Orders Coincide With Massive DNS Surge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Can you smell me now?
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
CVE-2020-11844
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
There is an Incorrect Authorization vulnerability in Micro Focus Service Management Automation (SMA) product affecting version 2018.05 to 2020.02. The vulnerability could be exploited to provide unauthorized access to the Container Deployment Foundation.
CVE-2020-6937
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
A Denial of Service vulnerability in MuleSoft Mule CE/EE 3.8.x, 3.9.x, and 4.x released before April 7, 2020, could allow remote attackers to submit data which can lead to resource exhaustion.
CVE-2020-7648
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.72.2 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads for users who have access to Snyk's internal network by appending the URL with a fragment identifier and a whitelisted path e.g. `#package.json`
CVE-2020-7650
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker after 4.72.0 including and before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads to users with access to Snyk's internal network of any files ending in the following extensions: yaml, yml or json.
CVE-2020-7654
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Information Exposure. It logs private keys if logging level is set to DEBUG.