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Google Talk cleartext credentials in process memory
From: pagvac <unknown.pentester () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 13:46:18 +0000

Title: Google Talk Beta Messenger cleartext credentials in process memory

Affected versions: (this version is believed to be the first
one released to the public)

Vendor contacted: 25/08/05

Patched version released: 29/08/05

Advisory released: 28/11/05

Author: pagvac (Adrian Pastor)

Homepage: www.ikwt.com - In Knowledge We Trust

Advisory URL: www.adrianpv.com/projects/google-talk-cleartext-credentials-in-process-memory.txt


Google Talk stores all user credentials (username and password) in
clear-text in the process memory. Such vulnerability was found on
August 25, 2005 (two days after the release of Google Talk) and has
already been patched by Google.

This issue would occur regardless of whether the "Save Password"
feature was enabled or not.

It was noticed that the Google Talk client was loading all the
credentials unencrypted in the memory of the process "googletalk.exe".
It was possible to recover the password by dumping the process memory
to a file with PMDump and which could then examined with a hex editor.

The vulnerability would allow anyone with access to the client system
to obtain the username and password of the current user. This
vulnerability could also be exploited by fooling the user to execute
malicious code which would dump the memory of the process
"googletalk.exe" and then parse the credentials and finally send them
to the attacker.

It is also worth mentioning that sometimes, no direct user interaction
is required for the execution of malicious code. Crackers often
exploit vulnerabilities in web browsers and email clients that allow
them to execute malicious code on the victim's machine without
requiring the victim to manually execute the trojaned executable. This
means that given the right scenario, this vulnerability could have
been exploited in such a way.


PMDump - http://ntsecurity.nu/toolbox/pmdump/
Free Hex Editor - http://www.chmaas.handshake.de/delphi/freeware/xvi32/xvi32.htm
Google Talk - http://www.google.com/talk/
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