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Showing posts with label Vulnerability and Exploits. Show all posts

PayPal Fixes 'High-Severity' Password Security Vulnerability


Researcher Alex Birsan, while examining PayPal's main authentication flow– discovered a critical security flaw that hackers could have exploited to access passwords and email addresses of users. He responsibly reported the vulnerability to PayPal on November 18, 2019, via the HackerOne bug bounty platform and received a bug bounty over $15,000 for the issue which was acknowledged by HackerOne after 18 days of its submission and later patched by the company on 11th December 2019. 

The aforementioned bug affected one of the primary and most visited pages amongst all of PayPal's, which is its 'login form' as mentioned by Birsan in the public disclosure of the flaw. 

As Birsan was exploring the main authentication flaw at PayPal, his attention got directed to a javascript file that seemingly contained a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) token along with a session ID. "providing any kind of session data inside a valid javascript file," the expert told in his blog post, "usually allows it to be retrieved by attackers." 

"In what is known as a cross-site script inclusion (XSSI) attack, a malicious web page can use an HTML <script> tag to import a script cross-origin, enabling it to gain access to any data contained within the file." 

While giving their confirmation, PayPal put forth that sensitive, unique tokens were leaked in a JS file employed by the Recaptcha implementation. Sometimes users find themselves in situations where they have to go through a captcha quiz after authentication and according to the inference drawn by PayPal, "the exposed tokens were used in the post request to solve the captcha challenge." The captcha quiz comes into play after multiple failed login attempts, that is normal until you come to terms with the fact that " “the response to the next authentication attempt is a page containing nothing but a Google captcha. If the captcha is solved by the user, an HTTP POST request to /auth/validate captcha is initiated.” Although, in order to successfully obtain the credentials, the hacker would be required to find a way of making targeted users visit an infected website prior to logging into their PayPal account. 

While assuring its users, PayPal said that it “implemented additional controls on the security challenge request to prevent token reuse, which resolved the issue, and no evidence of abuse was found.”

Cisco faces criticism after a hacker finds 120+ bugs in its product



A triad of severe vulnerabilities in Cisco DCNM (Data Center Network Manager) stock allows hackers to remotely sidestep the verification and invade into companies’ servers, the reason being a few safety failures that include hard-coded creds.

The 3 vulnerabilities were in the huge 120 vulnerabilities list in the stock discovered by the hacker Steven Seeley, who currently works for Source Incite. It was Steven who informed the company about the issue through a glitch hunt program called Zero Day Initiative, by Trend Micro. 

In an interview with Computer Business Review, he Australian cybersecurity specialist/hacker said that "the group of 3 vulnerabilities are the most dangerous among the 120 vulnerabilities, and if the hackers get a hand of it, they can exploit it using execution as root through remote code. It is as simple as that."

Simon further says that by exploiting these vulnerabilities, the hacker could easily gain access to almost anything like personal information, credentials, and passwords.
"I was rejected by the company Cisco after 8 interviews," said Simon on Twitter.

In response to the situation, Cisco has urged its users to update their systems and software, as to stay safe from the bugs. Earlier this week the company said, "we have repaired the vulnerabilities in and users are requested to immediately update the software."

Unfortunately, the readers of Computer Business Review are well aware that not all the products were built to be the same when it comes to patch management, the issue being that most of the critical bugs are neglected by the company.

In a conversation with Computer Business Review, Simon said that he will release the source codes this coming week. He mentioned that the vulnerabilities were very minor to exploit, but it did consume mind-boggling research to find the bugs in the starting phase. "The research consumed a whole month along with reviewing the code origin and debugging the run-time."

Cisco says the trio of the vulnerabilities is not dependent on each other. A single vulnerability itself is capable of the exploit, let alone the trio. Cisco has released the latest security patch on its website. The users who have still not updated it can install it from the 'download center' on the website.

TP-Link Routers Vulnerable Again; Voids Passwords! Patching Highly Suggested!



A “zero-day vulnerability” was recently discovered in the “TP-Link Archer C5v4 routers” with the firmware version 3.16.0 0.9.1 v600c and of the build 180124 Rel.28919n.

This vulnerability could affect devices both at corporate levels as well as domestic level. The attacker could take control of the routers configuration by way of “telnet on the local area network” and it could connect to the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) via the LAN or WAN (wide area network).

The attackers could gain complete access of all the admin licenses and privileges. Enabling guest wi-fi, and acting an entry point happen to be a few other demerits of the vulnerable router.

Previously as per reports there was a “password overflow issue”. When a string shorter than the estimated length is typed then the estimated length is sent as the password, altering the actual password whereas if too long then the password gets void.

The vulnerability allegedly depends on the type of request that is sent through for requesting access to the device. Either it is safe or is vulnerable. The safe requests for HTML content there are two aspects that need to be taken into account.

One of them being the “TokenID” and the other being “the JSESSIONID”. Per reports the common Gateway Interface though, is only based on the referrer’s HTTP headers if it matches the IP address or the domain related to it then the main service of the routers thinks it to be valid and if the referrer is removed it responds as “Forbidden”.

The automated attacks that were dissipated via the botnet malware, “Mirai” were caused by weak passwords that allowed access to the FTP server and even provided console access.


Reportedly, the function “strncmp” is used to validate the referrer header with the string “tplinkwifi.net”. It apparently also validates for the IP address. This is definitely hence a disconcerting vulnerability which could be easily exploited.

The shorter strings when sent corrupt the password stopping the users from logging in but luckily it would stop the attacker too. FTP, Telnet and other services are mostly affected by this.

A longer string length made it entirely void and the value became empty. This made Telnet and FTP accessible simply by using “admin” as a password which is the default.

The same configuration of FTP is also allowed on the WAN. The router also reportedly happens to be vulnerable to the CGI attack which is pretty injurious to privacy.

So far there isn’t a way to set a new password, but even if there were the next vulnerable LAN/WAN/CGI request would void that password as well. Per reports, another aftermath of this vulnerability is that the RSA encryption key would crash.

This vulnerability is extremely disconcerting when the “Internet of Things” IoT security is considered at large. Millions of businesses and homes could be affected by any exploit or vulnerability these routers disperse.

What could be done right off the bat is, creating stronger passwords, applying two-factor authentication, changing all the default passwords and at last applying mitigating controls to all the devices in use.

Patching is HIGHLY ADVISED. TP-Link has provided patches for the TP-Link Archer C5 v5 and other versions.

"Smart Spies"- Amazon Alexa and Google Home's Voice Assistant Were Vulnerable to a Security Flaw


Alexa and Google Home smart speakers have been vulnerable to a security threat that made eavesdropping, voice phishing and using people's voice cues to deduce passwords possible for hackers. The hack also allowed hackers to befool users in handing out their private data without any knowledge of the same being happening.

In October, security researchers who discovered "Smart Spies" hack and new ways in which Alexa and Google Home smart speakers can be exploited, are now warning about the need to formulate new and effective methods to guard against the eavesdropping hack, reports Threatpost. Notably, no major steps were been taken to ensure protection against these hacks.

SRLabs, a Berlin-based hacking research company, told about the discovery of the vulnerability being made by them earlier this year, they went on reporting it to the concerned organizations, Amazon and Google. Furthermore, in an attempt to demonstrate the exploitation of the flaw, the firm shared a series of videos on Sunday.

As per the reports by CNN Business, Amazon and Google told that the vulnerabilities have been taken care of and likewise the issues have been fixed.

The company "quickly blocked the skill in question and put mitigations in place to prevent and detect this type of skill behavior and reject or take them down when identified," a spokesperson from Amazon told CNN Business.

Addressing the issue, SRLabs states in a blog post, "Alexa and Google Home are powerful, and often useful, listening devices in private environments. The privacy implications of an internet-connected microphone listening in to what you say are further reaching than previously understood."

Experts recommended users to be more mindful of the potentially malignant voice apps that can infect smart speakers, "Using a new voice app should be approached with a similar level of caution as installing a new app on your smartphone."

"To prevent ‘Smart Spies’ attacks, Amazon and Google need to implement better protection, starting with a more thorough review process of third-party Skills and Actions made available in their voice app stores. The voice app review needs to check explicitly for copies of built-in intents. Unpronounceable characters like “�. “ and silent SSML messages should be removed to prevent arbitrary long pauses in the speakers’ output. Suspicious output texts including “password“ deserve particular attention or should be disallowed completely." The blog reads. 

Public Cloud Infrastructures suffering from Security Loopholes and Vulnerabilities, researchers say


Igal Gofman, XM head of security research, and Yaron Shani, XM senior security researcher, in their research, found a new attack vector in cloud providers API ( application programming interface), that gives miscreants a window to access secured cloud data. Public Cloud Infrastructure, has added a new invisible management layer, that complicates the procedure creating security challenges, that requires better understanding. Often organizations fail to understand this management layer and hence lag in securing it, inviting attacks.

Working with public cloud infrastructure without the right understanding of risks and security challenges may lead to fatal consequences with customer risks, as was the case in Capital One breach."Current security practices and controls are not sufficient to mitigate the risk posed by a misunderstanding of the public cloud", said the researchers.

 Findings in the research

Researchers found that public cloud providers' APIs' accessibility over the internet opens a window for adversaries to exploit and gain access to confidential data on the cloud. And current security systems and practices are not equipped to beat the risk posed by misconfiguration of the cloud.

People who are in charge of managing cloud resources can easily gain access to APIs' using software kits and command-line tools as they are part of the development and IT team. "Once those account credentials are compromised, gaining access to high-value resources is trivial," the researchers say. Cloud APIs' can be accessed through the internet, with the correct API key, for example, the Command line interface tool, which saves the user's credentials which can be accessed by the cloud provider.

Attackers don't need a very sophisticated approach to sneak in cloud API, "In practice, the sophistication required to develop such tools is not high, because basically all the information is publicly available and well-documented by most cloud providers, meaning they document each security feature in great detail and it can serve both the defenders and the adversaries," Gofman and Shani say. And once, their credentials are compromised using cloud providers tools, it's easy for the black hats to rob you blind.

In order to protect themselves, organizations and companies should follow the best practice guidelines from the cloud provider. Large organizations should constantly and periodically monitor permissions and risk factors. Analyzing attack paths can decrease the risk factors, suggest the researchers.