Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cyber Updates - 23rd November 2017

Final Release of the new OWASP Top 10

The final version of the OWASP Top 10 2017 has now been released. Following a controversial RC1 release, the project underwent a significant overhaul in the past six months including a change of leadership and a move to a fully transparent methodology based on data received and community feedback. The final release removes CSRF and Unvalidated Redirects, merges two previous categories into Broken Access Control and introduces three new categories, XML External Entities, "Insecure Deserialization" and Insufficient Logging and Monitoring.

Key takeaways:

  • Many different standards and frameworks reference the OWASP Top 10 or require companies to demonstrate that they are addressing the risks which it includes. It is important that application security teams understand the new risks which have been added including how to test for them and how to develop applications which are protected against them.
  • It is also important to remember that this is just a condensed list and that a full application security program needs to consider the full spectrum of potential application security issues.

Uber Reveals Data Breach of 57 million records

Bloomberg broke a story this week that in 2016 Uber had paid hackers to delete and not disclose 57 million records which had been stolen in a data breach. The data included names, email addresses and phone numbers for 50m Uber users and data on 7m drivers including US driving licence details. Uber themselves claim that they had a legal obligation to disclose but did not.

Key takeaways:

  • One of the key concerns in this case is that Uber did not disclose when they were legally (and ethically) obligated to do so. These should be key considerations when a data breach is discovered.
  • Another key concern is that Uber effectively paid a "ransom" to the hackers despite potentially having no way of verifying that the data had been deleted and would not be used. As well as potentially also being illegal, this is generally a poor approach to dealing with a situation of this kind.

Serious Intel CPU Vulnerabilities Disclosed

Following some speculation and based on findings from external researchers, Intel released a security advisory detailing significant security vulnerabilities in a number of its CPUs used in desktops, servers and "Internet of Things" devices. The vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to remotely take control of affected machines and access privileged data. This is particularly serious because the vulnerability is in the CPU itself and is therefore completely separate to the main PC operating system.

Key takeaways:

  • IT organisations should start reviewing their IT assets for this vulnerability and work with the relevant system manufacturer (e.g. Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc) to receive and apply updated firmware.
  • Defense in depth measures such as network segmentation and endpoint isolation should always be in place to mitigate the effect of a vulnerability of this sort.

From XSS to RCE, Hidden uses of JavaScript 

We are starting to see applications written using "Electron", a technology which utilises node.js to allow writing desktop applications as if they were web applications (HTML, CSS and JavaScript). A Swiss security researcher published an article detailing how he found a Cross-site Scripting (CSS) vulnerability in Github's atom text editor and was able to escalate this to Remote Code Execution due to the use of Electron.

Key takeaways:

  • Application developers should fully understand the implications of adopting new technologies and frameworks.
  • Less mature frameworks will have less available security information and therefore careful security testing should be performed before deployment.

Josh Grossman
Senior Information Security Consultant and Team Leader

Monday, November 20, 2017

About (Weird) CORS Exploitations

During our daily routine, we face lots of different kinds of web applications, which are built differently from one another. Sometimes the developers have the need to pass information from one subdomain to another, or generally between different domains. This need might be for rendering purposes or for crucial functionality such as passing access tokens and session identifiers to another cooperative application.

As you may know, the browsers do not allow AJAX requests to be sent from one domain (or subdomain) to another for security reasons, the security policy is called Same Origin Policy (SOP).

So in order to allow cross-domain communication, the developers had to use different “hacks” to bypass SOP and pass this allegedly “sensitive information”, until Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) came in to the picture and changed the whole game.

This article sums up an extreme case of CORS misconfiguration that led me to exploit the application’s vulnerable configuration a little bit differently from what I expected.

Chapter A - The (OLD) problem:
The most common method was the use of JSONP, which will be discussed later in this article, and some JavaScript tricks such as using DOM-based objects to store information in them.

JSONP works with specific server endpoints, and retrieves user-related information from them using the user’s session, and a callback that needs to be handled on the client side. Every callback should be wrapped with a padding function (therefore, the P for JSONP). For example:

Victim application runs on domain-A, and publishes a server endpoint called “getUsers”. Note that the callback “users” also determines the name of the padding function:

The callback would be: users({“userA”:”John”,”userB”:”Smith”})

This scenario is extremely vulnerable, since only has to load this endpoint in his site and expect the victim to visit the site. When this happens, an HTTP GET request is sent to along with the victim’s cookie (similar to classic CSRF), and the callback is then returned to domain-b to handle. For example:

function users(json) {

More information about JSONP can be found over here:

Additionally, JavaScript tricks that were used by developers could also leave the site extremely vulnerable to DOM-based XSS attacks. For example:
domain-a might use object to store information, and redirect the tab to domain-b (window.location = "domain-b"). Eventually domain-b will eval() the information stored in

How can we exploit it? It’s simple:
Our attacking domain (domain-c) should store the XSS payload in
<script> = “some AJAX-based payload to perform a critical action in the targeted application”;
window.location = “”; // Remember? This domain should eval(; by design

And since domain-b is executing the code which is stored in, we were able to totally pwn the application, by using a third-party malicious site of our own.

But today, you won’t see this happens much. So you can just use this method to exploit an XSS you already found.

Chapter B - The (NEW) problem:
Later on, HTML5 technology brought a game changing feature called Cross-site Resource Sharing (CORS). This new policy allows the developers to determine which domains are allowed to communicate with their application’s domain, and therefore no hacks are needed – but education and security awareness are!

Frameworks that have the ability to use CORS, used to have an “out of the box configuration”, we'll see some examples below.

The 1st wave of CORS policy taught the browser how to behave and allow two-way interaction between domains & subdomains. This policy tells the browser (using HTTP headers in the server’s response) if he can or cannot interact with the current domain from a different domain.

Some frameworks work with a default configuration that actually takes the origin of the request and automatically allows it by sending the origin back in the response headers. For example:

Request (note the origin was changed to


So much for CORS huh..?
Note that Allow-Credentials: true allows XMLHTTPRequests (XHRs) to send the victim’s cookie from ANY domain. That’s a JavaScript-based CSRF, which is far more "smarter" than the HTML-based version.

But people learned… And hardened their CORS policy. Plus, modern browsers don't even send the HTTP request before it gets an answer for the pre-flight request which looks like this:

In my extreme case, every server endpoint was hardened with a secured CORS policy and didn’t allow any domain to interact with it… Meaning, it wouldn't show the response to the browser which executed the JS code. example:

BUT (!) the pre-flight request was not secured (See example for such configuration in the above OPTIONS request). This means that the browser will allow us to send a request to the targeted domain but not read the response.

Therefore we cannot acquire additional information such as anti-CSRF tokens on nonce values, but we still have an upgraded CSRF that support different HTTP verbs and headers (depending on the response from the pre-flight request).

TIP: we can indicate whether someone executed our script or not by adding a call to our web listener. For example:

$.ajax({some_action_in_the_targeted_application}); new Image().src = " just fell in your trap!";

Simple AJAX for Proof of Concept, and you can possibly delete the admin account of the app, change his accounts settings … whatever.

In conclusion,
Remember to always test every endpoint, including the pre-flight request by changing the origin to an arbitrary domain, and ensure that the site is not vulnerable.

Good Luck !

Rotem Tsadok
Head of Offensive Security & Response Unit  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ComTech: Using Burp Suite to Discover Domains


There are many reasons why you may want to use a brute-force method to discover web domains or sub-domains, for example reconnaissance or attack surface discovery.

Whilst Burp Suite can discover content in folders below a domain using a brute-force approach (see: here), it cannot use this approach to find domains.

Burp Intruder would be a possible tool for this (assuming you are looking for web sites) except that you have to specifically choose the target domain on the first tab so it cannot be chosen as a payload position which could then be brute-forced by Intruder. Once I realised this, I started thinking how I could use Burp's features to enable this. I have set out the solution below. Note that this assumes you are already familiar with how Burp Suite works and it will only work with Burp Suite Pro.

Invisible Proxying

The answer is to create an invisible proxy in Burp. Invisible proxy is a way in which Burp handles client applications which cannot be specifically configured to use a proxy. As explained here, applications which can be configured to use a proxy will send a full URL to the proxy so that the proxy knows where to send the request on to. An application, which cannot be configured to use a proxy will just include the URL in the path but not the domain itself.

Invisible proxy mode effectively means that Burp will decide on the target location to send the request based on the host header in the HTTP request. Now, the host header can be selected as a payload position in intruder and we can therefore fuzz that.

Configuring Burp Suite

Setting up the proxy

The first thing I have to do is setup a new proxy listener in Burp. In this case I have it listening on port 443 although actually you could choose any available port. The important thing here is that I have selected the invisible proxy option.

Setting up Intruder

I have already sent a standard GET request to intruder. I now go to the target tab and for the target I choose localhost and the port where I have got my invisible proxy listening, in this case 443.

I can see the standard GET request which I sent in the Positions tab and I can now select the part of the domain in the host header which I want to attack, II have just chosen one payload position but obviously I could choose multiple positions if I wanted attempt multiple types. You could also add a port onto the host header and choose that as a payload if you wanted to attempt multiple port types.

The rest is the same as a standard Intruder attack, in my case I have chosen a character brute-force payload but you will probably want to use a predefined list of likely domains.

Executing the attack

Intruder will give you an error about the target and host header not matching but you can ignore that

Reviewing the results

You can now go through the intruder results to look at what was returned.

Interestingly, because you are looping back through Burp's proxy, you will also see the requests that were sent in the proxy history list.

I hope this little trick is useful. If you have any comments, critiques or suggestions, you can contact me using the details below.

Josh Grossman
Senior Information Security Consultant and Team Leader