#1 CSRF Is A Vulnerability In All Browsers - You MUST Deny It ASAP.
#2 top secret(will be published on April 1)
#3 Another Rails Issue(April 2-3)
#4 The Webkit Hole(April 2-4)
It took me a long time to understand the point behind CSR (cross-site requests) and CRSF fully enough to find them EXTREMELY malicious.
Following points should be made before any explanation.
- It is
wellknown attack(yep, just like mass assignment). It's known but not well. You won't find any mention of CSRF in books for beginners a la "PHP in 24 hours" or "HTML/CSS for dummy". Underestimated kind of attack.
- It is neither bug in OS nor in browser nor in the servers' adjustments. Linux/Mac/Windows, Chrome/Firefox/IE - it just doesn't matter! This is just an expected behavior. And it works like it supposed to. Funny, isn't it? Known since 2001 but not fixed yet. Interested? Keep reading.
- HTTPS? Would not help. SSL has nothing to do with this attack.
- Short sessions? Sounds nice, but there are always a few ways to ask/force user to sign in and than script can attack. We are human, it's not so difficult to cheat on us. And, short sessions are rare, most sites with a "remember me" button do not rely on short sessions.
- Special plugins/extensions to be secure(e.g. https://www.requestpolicy.com/). Who uses them?! O_o Almost nobody.
- Protection on server-side. Rails 3 framework has it out-of-box - using authenticity_token helps. By the way Rails is the most secure framework I've ever seen.(sic!) Mass assignment is "vulnerability" in the documentation and developers are in charge; but not in rails. At the same time to have protection with other langs/platforms(PHP, Java, Asp.net) you have to write ~10-50 additional lines of code. IMO(and *these cases* prove it) 90% of developers just don't care and don't spend time on that. That's a huge hole, easy to find and easy to use.