eBay: It's safe to buy busted lava lamps and bug-infested rugs again

XSS vuln squished; hackers could have made you bid


eBay has resolved a cross-site scripting bug on its website that independent experts warned posed a significant risk of fraud to users of the auction site. The XSS flaw meant that, once logged into a seller account on eBay, an attacker could insert an XSS exploit code into a listing of an item for sale.

The XSS security flaw on eBay.com, discovered by Indian security researcher Shubham Upadhyay last week, created a means for hackers to inject attack code as "user-submitted content" in product listings. According to XSSed, the script insertion vulnerability provided a means to fling browser exploits and other nasties at surfers who viewed booby-trapped auctions.

And an independent security expert reckoned the vulnerability might even have lent itself to tricking victims into placing bids on auction items without their consent.

In a statement issued today, an eBay spokeswoman confirmed that the bug had been quashed and outlined eBay's general approach to automatically scanning for XSS-related vulnerabilities on the online marketplace.

We were aware of this case and the issue has already been dealt with.

eBay has a tool that scans for such XSS vulnerabilities in user generated content. Like any automated tools, false positives and negatives do occur. Once we determine the user has violated eBay policy, we immediately remove the item and suspend the user account.

Scanning for cross-site scripting nasties is just one of the tools "numerous security detection tools" eBay applies in its ongoing fight to ensure the safety and security of our marketplace, she added. eBay said around 60 million items are listed on its UK site alone at any one time, with more than 17 million people visiting the site each month.

Dominique Karg, chief hacking officer at security management tools firm AlienVault, described the vulnerability as presenting a "high threat" to eBay users before it was fixed.

"If this hadn't been fixed I'd consider this a high threat, specially considering the type of site," Karg explained.

"Implications could range from abusing eBay's trust and tricking [the users] into some download... to potentially playing with the auctions: placing bids on items the user doesn't want / buyouts, accessing his/her account, selling fake stuff and similar."

Cross Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of web server vulnerability that allows attackers to represent code as coming from the site they are visiting while it is actually being served from somewhere else entirely - potentially a hacker-controlled site. It is one of the most common categories of web security vulnerability, but the impact from XSS flaws varies greatly.

“In my experience XSS vulnerabilities always have gotten more attention than they deserve," Karg explained. "First of all, you're attacking other visitors, not the site itself."

He added that there are two types of XSS vulnerability: persistent and reflected. The eBay vulnerability fell into the first, more serious, category, according to Karg, so it's just as well it has been resolved sooner rather than later. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Now Windows Follina zero-day exploited to infect PCs with Qbot
    Data-stealing malware also paired with Black Basta ransomware gang

    Miscreants are reportedly exploiting the recently disclosed critical Windows Follina zero-day flaw to infect PCs with Qbot, thus aggressively expanding their reach.

    The bot's operators are also working with the Black Basta gang to spread ransomware in yet another partnership in the underground world of cyber-crime, it is claimed.

    This combination of Follina exploitation and its use to extort organizations makes the malware an even larger threat for enterprises. Qbot started off as a software nasty that raided people's online bank accounts, and evolved to snoop on user keystrokes and steal sensitive information from machines. It can also deliver other malware payloads, such as backdoors and ransomware, onto infected Windows systems, and forms a remote-controllable botnet.

    Continue reading
  • That critical vulnerability might not be the first you should patch
    Startup Rezilion suggests enterprises should change prioritization strategies

    Enterprise security teams being overrun by the rising numbers of vulnerabilities uncovered each day could vastly reduce their patching workload by changing how they prioritize the flaws, according to recent research from vulnerability startup Rezilion.

    Most enterprises look to the ratings given to flaws in the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) framework, which range from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) and are ranked as low and medium to high and critical, depending on the characteristics of the vulnerability.

    Companies will start their remediation efforts with the vulnerabilities deemed "critical" and work their way down, said Yotam Perkal, director of vulnerability research with Rezilion.

    Continue reading
  • To cut off all nearby phones with these Chinese chips, this is the bug to exploit
    Android patches incoming for NAS-ty memory overwrite flaw

    A critical flaw in the LTE firmware of the fourth-largest smartphone chip biz in the world could be exploited over the air to block people's communications and deny services.

    The vulnerability in the baseband – or radio modem – of UNISOC's chipset was found by folks at Check Point Research who were looking for ways the silicon could be used to remotely attack devices. It turns out the flaw doesn't just apply to lower-end smartphones but some smart TVs, too.

    Check Point found attackers could transmit a specially designed radio packet to a nearby device to crash the firmware, ending that equipment's cellular connectivity, at least, presumably until it's rebooted. This would be achieved by broadcasting non-access stratum (NAS) messages over the air that when picked up and processed by UNISOC's firmware would end in a heap memory overwrite.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022