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Re(4): The danger of hidden fields

by cjf (Parson)
on Jul 24, 2002 at 01:13 UTC ( #184657=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Re: The danger of hidden fields
in thread The danger of hidden fields

Okay, Let's review:

All the customer data that is submitted to the script is as well as being emailed to us, stored in a text file. However the text file to store the data in is passed as a hidden field from the html, and there is no check to make sure that the referring page is the correct one.

So customer comes to the site, logs in, and currently their information (or more accurately, the location of the file containing the information) is passed via a hidden form field. There's no need for this really. The customer could just be passed a session identifier and all the remaining data would be stored on the server. This should be a relatively simple switch.

Now as for this:

cracker that saw his append and tracked him, or had been "casing the joint" for a couple of weeks, makes his move. Several (hundred) customers credit cards get used for whatever, and who gets the blame?

That's about equivalent to saying "if he puts locks on the doors and someone breaks in the next day, who's going to take the blame?" It's completely missing the point.

First off, there's no way a cracker's going to be monitoring a website with these vulnerabilities for weeks and not do anything. Secondly, not improving the security of a system for fear of being irrationally blamed for future incidents should be cause for dismissal on its own.


Comment on Re(4): The danger of hidden fields
Re: Re(4): The danger of hidden fields
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Jul 24, 2002 at 02:44 UTC
    Okay, Let's review:

    Ok, lets.

    So customer comes to the site, logs in, and currently their information (or more accurately, the location of the file containing the information) is passed via a hidden form field. There's no need for this really. The customer could just be passed a session identifier and all the remaining data would be stored on the server.

    I think you are assuming information not in evidence, but basically I agree - and so does Gerard...

    This should be a relatively simple switch.

    But he doesn't have authority to do it!

    That's about equivalent to saying "if he puts locks on the doors and someone breaks in the next day, who's going to take the blame?" It's completely missing the point.

    I'd say it closer to: "if he monkies no pun intended) with the alarm system, without authority--and possibly without the skills to know that the monkeying is improving and not worsening the risk--and someone breaks in the next day, who's gonna take the blame?". What point was I missing?

    First off, there's no way a cracker's going to be monitoring a web site with these vulnerabilities for weeks and not do anything.

    The true crackers, the one's that you never hear about because they do their dirty deeds quietly, without fuss and without leaving traces. They do it for profit not for "fun". The same guys that release script-kiddy tools and how-to tutorials, so that the authorities spend their time chasing the kiddies and not them. They, like any competent thief, don't rush in just because they can, they wait until they are:

    1. sure that there is something worth stealing;
    2. have all the information they need to gain quick access to what they want;
    3. are very sure that their way in and out is clear, quick and safe;
    4. they have a reasonable chance of laying a false trail away from them.

    It would not be the first time one of these, quiet thieves had sown the seeds of interest in the hAx0r community for a potentially vulnerable site on a relatively open irc channel, then waited for the kiddies to make their play. Whilst they are doing their thing, using well known, clumsy, brute force techniques, the thief sneaks in through a pre-planned backdoor, executes his needs and exits, possibly raising the alarm on the kiddies at the front door on his way out to cover his tracks!

    Secondly, not improving the security of a system for fear of being irrationally blamed for future incidents should be cause for dismissal on its own.

    First, he has already tried to get authorisation to make the improvements...and was turned down! Hence his question.

    Second, there is a very senior monk that made "allegedly unauthorised" changes and have paid the price for his proactive stance and another who had to back off from even giving simple advice for fear of the legal and employment repercussions.

      I'd say it closer to: "if he monkies no pun intended) with the alarm system, without authority--and possibly without the skills to know that the monkeying is improving and not worsening the risk

      It sounds like anything short of placing a button saying "click here for all our clients credit card numbers" on the main page would be an improvement.

      The true crackers, the one's that you never hear about because they do their dirty deeds quietly, without fuss and without leaving traces.

      Exactly, so why would they sit idly by for weeks (or years from the sound of it) while the site's vulnerable? They wouldn't, and quite possibly, didn't. In any case, this is no excuse whatsoever for not securing a system.

      I also fail to see how tilly's situation is in the slightest bit relevant to this. Maybe if Gerard was rewriting the system on company time and attempting to release the source code for it, without his employers permission, after signing a restrictive agreement, tilly's situation might be apply.

      First, he has already tried to get authorisation to make the improvements...and was turned down! Hence his question.

      Well, the obvious replies are "decide if you really want to work there" and "listen to your employer, don't go looking for trouble" but those are boring and I get tired of repeating them :). I also don't think avoiding trouble is the best career move, there is something to be said for initiative.

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