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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 10:28:02 +0100
From: Filippo Cavallarin <>
To: Carsten Eiram <>
Cc: "''" <>,
 'Henri Salo' <>
Subject: Re: XSS hiding CSRF (was: Re: Mibew messenger multiple XSS)

I agree with you, this issues should have been categorized as CSRF. I had this doubt when reporting them and i decide to consider them XSS for one main reason: even with a CSRF protection an operator is still able to inject javascript into visitor's browser (ie an operator sets chat title to XSS and it gets executed when new visitor opens a chat). But propably you are rignt, there is no gain for an admin to exploit this and, for sure you are right, a password reset has a bigger impact.

Filippo Cavallarin

On 2 Feb 2012, at 8:25 AM, Carsten Eiram wrote:

> The points made by Steve are why we're spending so much time testing everything we can get our hands on. It's standard operating procedure - and has been for many years - to particularly pay attention to these "XSS hiding CSRF" cases. For that reason you'll often see discrepancies in the original report and the released Secunia advisories.
> In the case of Mibew, the functionality is restricted to admins and from an administrator's perspective there is no gain. Therefore, we do not consider it a vulnerability in itself. However, via the CSRF vector it can be exploited by non-admins. This is why the Secunia advisory is rated as CSRF (like the OSVDB advisory) and just mentions XSS as a follow-up impact (along with alternatively just changing the administrator's password and gain full access that way).
> I would definitely join Steve in encouraging researchers to keep this trend in mind by considering a) if a discovered issue actually provides a gain compared to legitimately accessible functionality and b) relies on another vulnerability in order to be an issue. We encounter these "XSS hiding CSRF" cases on a weekly basis.
> -- 
> Med venlig hilsen / Kind regards
> Carsten H. Eiram
> Chief Security Specialist
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>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Steven M. Christey []
>> Sent: 1. februar 2012 23:24
>> To:
>> Cc: Henri Salo;
>> Subject: [oss-security] XSS hiding CSRF (was: Re: [oss-security] Mibew
>> messenger multiple XSS)
>> Funny, the CVE team was discussing this curiosity just today.
>> In the Mibew case, the PoC code has POST forms that invoke scripts like
>> "/operator/ban.php"  and "/operator/settings.php".  These are almost
>> certainly administrative functions that probably shouldn't be reachable at all.
>> Thus, these might be better identified as CSRF issues at their core, instead of
>> XSS.
>> It seems that some researchers report XSS in administrator modules, but
>> they omit when you need to use CSRF in order to get the administrator to
>> perform the XSS.  So, the primary issue is often CSRF, and XSS is only
>> resultant (since, in many cases, the admin already has privileges to edit
>> HTML).  The vuln DBs are starting to catch up with this "trend" in vuln
>> reporting, so there is a very slow shift towards identifying CSRF as the core
>> problem.  However, CSRF is in the eye of the beholder, in that you often
>> need to know the INTENDED functionality of the application before you can
>> interpret whether things are CSRF versus regular functionality, versus good
>> old XSS.
>> Note that this kind of XSS-hiding-CSRF issue is not necessarily tied to admin
>> functionality, but that's where it's a strong indicator that a researcher might
>> be ignoring CSRF.
>> Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to determine whether XSS or CSRF is at
>> the root, even if you're dealing with admin functionality.  For example,
>> maybe an admin program will check for CSRF and fail, but include the original
>> form in its error response, possibly enabling XSS.  Or, maybe there are TWO
>> issues at play - maybe a victim can be CSRF'ed to make posts on their behalf,
>> and also a secondary issue where the victim can become an attacker and XSS
>> other people (with or without CSRF).
>> Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that the number of XSS-hiding-CSRF reports
>> will grow :-(
>> For people who investigate vuln reports closely, please keep this trend in
>> mind.  If you are a researcher, consider whether XSS or other issues are really
>> legitimate functionality that is only reachable by targeting the victim with
>> CSRF; if that's the case, then the CSRF is "primary" and the XSS is "resultant"
>> and not a separate vulnerability - and if your targeted application has CSRF,
>> then maybe there's a more powerful impact than just XSS.  (For example,
>> depending on how settings / configuration is implemented, you might be
>> able to get code execution out of it.)
>> - Steve
>> On Wed, 1 Feb 2012, Kurt Seifried wrote:
>>> On 01/31/2012 08:22 AM, Henri Salo wrote:
>>>> This seems to need 2012 CVE-identifier.
>>>> Advisory:
>>>> Codseq own advisory:
>>>> OSVDB:
>>>> Secunia:
>>>> At the moment does not work for me.
>>>> - Henri Salo
>>> Please use CVE-2012-0829 for this issue.
>>> P.S. for some reason OSVDB lists this as a CSRF issue (?) which is
>>> mentioned in the advisory but not really shown.
>>> --
>>> Kurt Seifried Red Hat Security Response Team (SRT)

Filippo Cavallarin

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