Friday, September 26, 2008

Hype Alert: Internet Shopping Carts Are Secure

My blog reader fed me a nugget today that set off my hype monitor, specifically a post entitled Internet Shopping Carts are Secure.
To be fair, I realize the author is speaking from the eCommerce perspective, rather than that of an information security practitioner, but here's where the trouble begins:
"Shopping cart service providers have developed secure ecommerce shopping cart solutions for any business owner looking to enhance their current online store, or create a new one. Some ecommerce shopping cart solution providers are even receiving PABP (Payment Application Best Practice) certification which supports PCI compliance requirements for all businesses accepting credit card payments online."
This may be true in part, but it is by no means an all-inclusive claim. Shopping carts continue to be sieve-like, even when apparently reviewed per PCI standards.
Allow me to elaborate.
We'll kick off our hype eliminating effort with a simple Google dork: inurl:"cart.cfm" (picking on ColdFusion again, but man, they make it easy)
GM Parts Direct: Your Shopping Cart jumped right out at me for a number of reasons.
First, I sensed XSS vulns lurking like a Geiger counter senses radiation. Sound effect for edification. :-)
Second, the page contained one of the growing number of aforementioned conversion-driving website security seals.

Tick, tick, click...the Gieger counter is getting louder.
Trustwave claims that the site operator "is enrolled in Trustwave's Trusted Commerce™ program to validate compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) mandated by all the major credit card associations including: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, Visa, Inc. and Visa Europe."
Methinks that Trustwave's Trusted Commerce program is missing a few fundamental security checks. Remember, XSS in PCI regulated sites, according to the PCI DSS, indicates that a site is not compliant (see section 6.5.4) if vulnerable to XSS.

All it takes is a fake login page, as opposed to our friends at, and...well, you get the point.
Simply, this is one of an endless number of shopping cart not secure, and not PCI compliant. For shame. You need only browse the Advisories page to find multiple ecommerce platforms and shopping carts that are missing the mark. Trust me, these are a fraction of the problem.
website security seal<>security
Sigh. | digg


Anonymous said...

I completely agree that PCI compliant doesn’t always mean secure. However, in fairness, PCI compliance refers to the merchant, not to the website. Since PCI only requires annual pen tests, it’s entirely possible that the XSS vuln was added after the company’s last test. It’s also possible that Trustwave isn’t the company performing the test.

Rafal Los said...

@anonymous - that's not exactly correct. If Company X has a PCI Compliant certification, that extends to the websites/applications they keep - doesn't it? How do you figure it wouldn't?

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