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Re: recent 'cross site scripting' CERT advisory
From: huuskone () CC HELSINKI FI (Taneli Huuskonen)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 09:59:56 +0200


Ari Gordon-Schlosberg wrote:

[Bill Thompson <bill () DIAL PIPEX COM>]
One form of protection from a truly *cross-site* attack that I didn't
see mentioned in the CERT advisory is the trusty "HTTP_REFERER"

HTTP_REFERER is trivial to spoof, and it's likely that anyone perpetrating
a sophisticated attack would laugh at having to spoof the Referer: header.
It's a form of trusting the client, which is a big, huge, no-no.  It's okay

Bill Thompson's comment makes sense in the following scenario.  Suppose
a page on www.evil.com contained a link to www.trusted.com's login page,
with something funny embedded in a query string.  Then an unsuspecting
victim might be tricked into following the link and getting back a page
with evil.com's javascript embedded in it.  Now, if trusted.com's
webserver refused to serve anything else but the index page unless the
Referer: field contained a trusted.com URL, this attack would be foiled.

Now, is there a way to trick a browser into lying about the referrer?

Taneli Huuskonen

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