Monday, June 30, 2008

XSS Comedy at McAfee Secure's Expense

In celebration of the deadline for PCI Requirement 6.6 compliance as of June 30, 2008, I thought I'd share a little web app sec comedy at McAfee Secure's expense.
As well you should know by know, the existence of XSS vulnerabilities in a site that is required to meet PCI DSS standards means that the site IS NOT PCI COMPLIANT. Very simple, right?
Let's consider the McAfee Secure/Hacker Safe-branded site for Organize-It.
A seemingly handy site, perfect for your HGTV types, likely with healthy credit card limits. Uh-oh, here it comes. Oh yes, Organize-It handles credit cards and is thus beholden to PCI DSS.
Organize-It is also proudly displaying a current McAfee Secure badge, indicating that it's tested daily.
Given the focus of many a recent discussion it shouldn't shock you that Organize-It is vulnerable to XSS.
What's funny is what Organize-It does with regard to "handling" malformed requests.
Where a typical test string for XSS might be " script payload /script (characters removed or Blogger will let me XSS myself), you won't get much use from such a string via either direct form submittal or URL encoding. But when the site barfed up '; // LEAVE THIS VALUE var sli_cId = 90;, while under investigation, my ruh-roh meter went off.
I decided to play with my trusty marquee test and found interesting results. The actual search form field is limited to 41 characters (er?). So my complete string of " marquee message /marquee didn't fit for direct submittal BUT THE MARQUEE RENDERED ANYWAY! Basically, half the test string worked: " marquee h1 This_site_is_NOT_McAfee_S
Forget the marquee tag on the blacklist, did we?
But here's the real icing on the cake. The uber-intuitive search index reinterpreted my message with what I can only imagine are index keywords. Thus "This site is NOT McAfee Secure" scrolls across the Organize-It site as "this sit is not coffee secure".
OMG! My daily quad shot Americano has been pwn3d to the core!
Here's the URL if you don't believe me, or the video if you prefer.
Forget PCI compliance, bring on the Gong Show hook, Chuck!
Cheers. | digg

Friday, June 27, 2008

PC Universe is shrinking thanks to McAfee Secure's cluelessness

My web app sec friends know exactly how to push my red buttons. "Heh-heh, send it to Russ, he'll go off." Yep. ;-) Thanks, Rafal. Now I'm all spun up. I was sent two moronic gems this morning; one on the merits of McAfee Secure / Hacker Safe and the 109% sales increase it resulted in for PC Universe, the other an interview with the Internet's single biggest dillweed, Cresta Pillsbury. These articles are both a bit dated, but they equally embrace the premise of "trust" logos as a predominant sales driver, rather than any actual motivation to secure a site and protect consumers.
An example:
"If you’re doing conversion marketing and statistical testing on your website and you haven’t explored trust logos yet, then you’re missing out."
I must be the most naive person in the world; this enrages me. When will the idiots who write this crap get a clue? They've bought right into the hype the snake oil salesmen hoped they would and are now complicit in their failures.
Case in point, as seen in the Internet Retailer piece. By the way, I realize that Internet Retailer and basic web application security practices are completely at odds (as proven here), but this one deserves direct abuse.
"PC Universe first tested Hacker Safe on its own site in an A/B split test in which half the visitors saw the Hacker Safe seal and half did not. During that test, 7.3% more orders came from Hacker Safe shoppers than from the control group. PC Universe, which operates on the web at, is No. 360 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide."
Really? Let's see what McAfee Secure / Hacker Safe has done to actually provide any measurable security benefit.
How about absolutely nothing.
Here's PC Universe's very current, verified McAfee Hacker Safe cert.
Now, here are a few ridiculous examples of reality from the this universe as opposed to the McAfee-twisted alternate universe. Please note, this is the "accountid" variable, and the fact that the marquee is rendered no less than eight times.
1) Marquee Remediated 6/30/08
2) XSS Deface Remediated 6/30/08
3) Cookie Remediated 6/30/08
Kudos for the quick fix PC Universe.
If you rather just see a video of these vulns, it's here.
PC Universe, rather than lauding your sales increases thanks to some POS logo, try securing your site code. I guarantee you have other issues.
McAfee Secure, once more, you are simply fraudulent to the core. | digg

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Open redirect vulnerabilities article - (IN)SECURE Issue 17

I've written a comprehensive piece on the dangers of open redirects that's been published in Issue 17 of (IN)SECURE Magazine. Page 43 for your reading pleasure.
"An open redirect is a vulnerability that exists when a script allows redirection to an external site by directly calling a specific URL in an unfiltered, unmanaged fashion, which could be used to redirect victims to unintended, malicious web sites."
This issue is a giant pet peeve of mine; the article is intended to increase awareness of the dangers of this vulnerability and promote mitigation. | digg

Live from the 20th Annual FIRST Conference

I've been at the FIRST conference in Vancouver, BC this week presenting, attending great presentations, and meeting a fantastic group of people.
I'd like to applaud some great presenters I've seen so far, including Par Osterberg Medina (Detecting Intrusions), Anton Chuvakin (Log Analysis), Raffael Marty (Applied Security Visualization), and Steve Mancini (RAPIER).
I've also been advised of some tools for your consideration, to aid in the security analysis / incident response cause, as well as possible topics for toolsmith.
Take a look at these, if you aren't already familiar with them:
BitBlaze - Binary Analysis for COTS Protection and Malicious Code Defense
F-Response - The First Truly Vendor Agnostic Solution for Remote Forensics and eDiscovery
Maltego - Maltego is an open source intelligence and forensics application. It allows for the mining and gathering of information as well as the representation of this information in a meaningful way.
The Volatility Framework - Volatile memory artifact extraction utility framework
Thanks to Richard Bejtlich for pointing out F-Response and Volatility and Steve Mancini for BitBlaze and Maltego.

On another front, in support of Eva Chen's (Trend Micro) recent claim that the anti-virus industry sucks, John Stewart of Cisco, in his keynote this morning, reiterated the premise that the fight against malware is a lost cause. The point he was really driving at is the downfall of blacklisting and that whitelisting is essential given that "the total good is smaller than the total unknown and bad". This, as his fourth postulate of many good postulates this morning, truly supports my own beliefs. I'm more focused on whitelisting in the web application security space, but the premise is the same. If the vast majority of requests to secured elements of your applications are bad, then simply deny all, and allow only that which you trust.

More to come... | digg

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CIAC Tech Bulletin on XSS a valuable reference

The only fault I could possibly find in the recently released CIAC Technical Bulletin, CIACTech08-003: Understanding Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), is that it should have been released a year ago or more. ;-)
But rather than nitpick, I'd like to applaud.
This is a fine effort, with a number of good resources cited.
You'll find content on the types of cross-site scripting, including DOM, non-persistent, persistent, and CSRF. Additionally, you'll note methods of protection and reference links to content on Htmlspecialchars, Htmlentities, and Giorgio Maone's NoScript.
This is a great starting point for enlightening vendors, developers, and IT folk who may not be as up to speed as you might like on the concerns caused by XSS vulnerabilities.
Given the fact that stories continue to surface on the shortcomings of major security vendors, and their utter lack of diligence with regard to XSS, as well as efforts to further enlighten the masses, this is a valiant effort.
Well done, CIAC. | digg

Moving blog to

toolsmith and HolisticInfoSec have moved. I've decided to consolidate all content on one platform, namely an R markdown blogdown sit...