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

11/10/2009
05:37 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Demands Takedown Of Bing Cash Exploit

A flaw Microsoft's Bing cashback program allowed startup co-founder Samir Meghani get credit for over $2,000 in rebate cash through fake purchases.

Attorneys for Microsoft on Friday sent a letter to Samir Meghani, co-founder of price-comparison search engine Bountii.com, demanding that he remove a blog post containing information about generating fake Bing cashback payments.

Bing cashback is a search marketing program that provides online shoppers with cash rebate credit for purchases made through use of Microsoft's Bing search engine. It is a cost-per-acquisition program that allows merchants to specify the amount of promotional funds paid to Microsoft as a sales commission. Microsoft, which operates the program to promote Bing, then passes 100% of the commission to shoppers.

Bing users can earn up to $2,500 annually this way. A 60-day waiting period is required prior to disbursement.

To participate, merchants have the option of using one of two reporting mechanisms, pixel tracking or batch feed. The pixel tracking method isn't as reliable but allows cashback credits to appear immediately in customers' accounts rather than a day after the purchase.

In a blog post last Wednesday, Meghani outlined what he described as "an obvious flaw" in the pixel tracking implementation.

"Anyone can simulate the tracking pixel requests and post fake transactions to Bing," he wrote. "I'm not going to explain exactly how to generate the fake requests so that they actually post, but it's not complicated."

Meghani said that Bing didn't appear to be able to detect fake transactions immediately. He said that he has never bought anything using Bing cashback. Nonetheless, he said that his account showed a balance of $2080.06, the rebate total for two fake $1 orders placed in January and fake orders amounting to $104,000 in October.

Meghani also pointed out that Microsoft's Bing cashback implementation has another security flaw, relying on order IDs in a predictable series. The flaw could allow a malicious user to deny cashback rebates to legitimate users by using up available order ID numbers.

Meghani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following receipt of a cease-and-desist letter from Microsoft's legal representatives, Meghani on Saturday said in a blog post that he had complied with Microsoft's demand and removed the post about Bing's cashback flaw.

He also said that Microsoft has closed his Bing cashback account.

"The purpose of my post was to show an implementation problem, not to encourage defrauding Microsoft," he wrote. "I am surprised they would go through this much trouble to make me take down information that is obvious to anyone reading their documentation. I don't like dealing with lawyers, so I've decided to comply with their request."

A Microsoft representative did not respond to a request for comment.

Register now for Black Hat DCt, the largest and the most important security conference series in the world. It happens Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2010, in Arlington, Va. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/28/2021
Slideshows
7 Modern-Day Cybersecurity Realities
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  4/30/2021
Commentary
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks
Bert Kashyap, CEO and Co-Founder at SecureW2,  4/28/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24259
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Elementor Addon Elements� WordPress Plugin before 1.11.2 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-privileged users such as contributors, all via a similar method.
CVE-2021-24260
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Livemesh Addons for Elementor� WordPress Plugin before 6.8 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-privileged users such as contributors, all via a similar method.
CVE-2021-24261
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “HT Mega – Absolute Addons for Elementor Page Builder� WordPress Plugin before 1.5.7 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by ...
CVE-2021-24262
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “WooLentor – WooCommerce Elementor Addons + Builder� WordPress Plugin before 1.8.6 has a widget that is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-priv...
CVE-2021-24263
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Elementor Addons – PowerPack Addons for Elementor� WordPress Plugin before 2.3.2 for WordPress has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scriptin...