on travel technology …and everything else
In his post [Link], Brandon writes that the vulnerability has caused some people to lose their domain names registered through GoDaddy.com. Without posting the full exploit, here is the key as Brandon explains it relies on obtaining the variables that represent the user name and “at”:
When you create a filter in your Gmail account, a request is sent to Google’s servers to be processed. The request is made in the form of a url with many variables. For security reasons, your browser doesn’t display all the variable contained within the url. Using FireFox and a plugin called Live HTTP Headers, you can see exactly what variables are sent from your browser to Google’s servers.
After that, an attacker just needs to identify the variable that is the equivalent of the username.
“Obtaining this variable is tricky but possible,” he writes. “I’m not going to tell you how to do it, if you search hard enough online you’ll find out how.”
The “at” variable can be obtained by visiting a malicious Web site, writes Brandon, who suggests that Google make the “at” variable expire after every request rather than after every session.
To avoid being a victim of the vulnerability, users should check their filters often, Brandon suggests. Firefox users can download an extension called NoScript that helps prevent these attacks, he said.
This blog is run by Mario Alvares, a Goan Web Guru living in Kuwait, sharing some of his thoughts with the rest of the world. Click the About Me link for more info and a funny mug shot. Check out the posts on this blog and feel free to leave your comments. Use the RSS links above to subscribe.