I often talk about cross-site scripting (XSS), and that’s partly because I think it’s a pretty interesting type of vulnerability that many developers tend to overlook. It can be quite dangerous, but can also be quite misunderstood. For one thing, the name can be misleading: exploiting XSS does not always involve scripting, and the proliferation of web technologies has taken XSS issues beyond the browser. One example of script-less cross-site scripting affected some high-profile MySpace users in 2007. Attackers were able to inject HTML into celebrity MySpace pages, but the service filtered out typical <script> payloads. Seemingly innocent <a> links were allowed, though, and adding a bit of CSS allowed one to create an invisible link that covered the entire[…]

News flash: Those so-called “risk” labels/ratings included in pentest and vuln scan reports are NOT actually “risk” representations. I was in attendance at the OWASP Summit 2011 a couple weeks back, and the topic of “risk metrics” and labels came up during one session. As a result, I led a break-out session on what risk really looks like in the macro sense, in accordance with formal methods, and where these various scan/test results really fit in. The session had great conversation and highlighted for me a need to expand risk analysis training to a broader audience. Below is a picture of the taxonomy of factors that make up a FAIR (Factor Analysis of Information Risk) risk analysis. Putting aside the[…]

Hot on the heels of a Flash Player critical vulnerability, Adobe has released a security bulletin outlining a critical vulnerability in all Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions prior to version 8.1.3. Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.1.2 and earlier versions. These vulnerabilities would cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Acrobat and Reader version 9 is not vulnerable to these particular flaws.  A few interesting things to note here. No patch for Acrobat/Reader 7 and earlier has been released. Additionally, the update is available only by moving to a new version of Acrobat/Reader, either version 8.1.3 or 9. This may cause significant pain and[…]