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Showing posts from November, 2008

Online Finance Flaws: An Awareness Campaign

Here begins a series regarding web application security inadequacies in online financial service offerings. The services to be discussed will include banks, credit unions, credit card companies, and others. As the economy struggles profoundly, and much of the blame points at the financial sector, I believe it important to point out the false sense of security so many brand-name financial services wrongly instill in their customers.
Often this sense of security is coupled with a typical "security badge" provider, helping drive conversions rather than security, as we will also legitimize how often the badge providers miss the mark on their promises.
Accountability in loan making decisions and practices might have prevented the sub-prime market collapse and the subsequent credit crunch that has hogtied our economy.
Accountability with regard to web application security while providing online financial services is now all the more important as cybercrime will continue to increase …

Mamma.com: Insider trading and XSS

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Mamma.com's got issues other than Mark Cuban's insider trading allegations. As a point of reference for this conversation, Mamma.com is ranked 4064 on Alexa as of today.
I won't profess to following Mr. Cuban's public life and the occasional antics. Obviously, he's a colorful and popular figure; certainly in Dallas, if not nationally.
What follows is not a judgment of Mr. Cuban or his pending legal challenges. I'm sure the process will play itself out accordingly.
A quick summary and some reference material:
The SEC has filed insider trading charges against Mr. Cuban. "According to the SEC, Cuban dumped 600,000 shares, or all of his 6.3% stake, in the search engine Mamma.com (The Mother of All Search Engines), in June 2004 after learning about private financing that the company was proposing. By selling, he avoided losing $750,000, the SEC alleges."
The whole issue for Mr. Cuban was PIPE financing because it's "dilutive to existing shareholders’ …

XSS Comedy III: Tax Cheats with Small Equipment

As part of an ongoing series, if I may I, the third in a series on the absurd, inane, and perhaps even funny. Lest you forget: the first and second in the series.
I don't know about you, but I enjoy occasionally watching offerings like the History Channel, AMC, or the Military Channel. I'm a 40ish, white male and as such I likely fit the general demographic as perceived by the marketing geniuses who buy the late evening advertising blocks on these channels.
That does NOT mean that I cheat on my taxes and thus need the services of a plethora of scam artists selling tax relief. Nor does it mean that I have any interest in "enhancement" opportunities like Enzyte or ExtenZe.
I just love people who choose to skip out on a primary obligation of citizenship that most of us choose to meet, and expect to magically turn $100,000 in tax debt into $999. Then there are the "businesses" who exploit these folks and willingly convince them of their "success" via t…

Vulnerabilities quickly mitigated by security-conscious vendors

As you are likely aware, I spend a fair bit of time heckling those I believe deserving due to their shortcomings with regard to protecting online consumers.
I do, however, continue to seek opportunities to shed positive light as well, and recent responses from a number of vendor/developers warrant an opportunity to do just that.
In the last 30 days, I've discovered vulnerabilities in products from four different vendors, and advised them all immediately upon discovery. Usually, that's where the story ends, as sadly, my repeated requests for action are often ignored. The last 30 days have proven to be entirely different, with swift responses and action from ALL vendors to whom I reported vulnerabilities. In all cases I received replies within 24 hours or less, and patches/fixes/updates were typically released within 24-72 additional hours. These are exemplary responses, and reflect why I choose to conduct vulnerability research. I believe we, as web application professionals (bot…