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Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Forced Tweeting

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Forced Tweeting
Posted Sep 3, 2010
Authored by Chris Evans

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 suffers from a vulnerability that allows an arbitrary web site the ability to force a victim to make tweets.

tags | advisory, web, arbitrary
SHA-256 | 8269887c6dc615aa7b380185ff2cddb02707773fa120bc701801b7bafec70899

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Forced Tweeting

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Hi,

In an attempt to get this bug fixed...

A nasty vulnerability exists in the latest Internet Explorer 8. I have been
unsuccessful in persuading the vendor to issue a fix.
The bug permits -- for example -- an arbitrary web site to force the victim
to make tweets.

(For academic research purposes only)
Harmless example: http://scary.beasts.org/misc/twitter.html

This is not weaponized. It won't do anything to your Twitter account unless
you press the button.

Notes:
- This is purely an IE bug; there is no fault on behalf of Twitter and there
is no reasonable workaround.
- Similar attacks can be mounted against other sites of interest.
- There's evidence to suggest that Microsoft has been aware of this since at
least 2008.
- This could interact unpleasantly with the trust people place in URL
shorteners.
- This probably affects earlier versions.

References:
- Public CMU academic paper: http://websec.sv.cmu.edu/css/css.pdf
- A less serious variant in all the other major browsers (long since fixed
by all of them):
http://scarybeastsecurity.blogspot.com/2009/12/generic-cross-browser-cross-domain.html


Cheers
Chris
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