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Re: Vulnerabilities in *McAfee.com
From: Ryan Sears <rdsears () mtu edu>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 15:29:54 -0400 (EDT)

How about the scenario in which one statically audit's some javascript sitting on a site, to notice it does something 
in an unsafe manner, and can be used in a XSS attack without actually making it happen?. There was no actual 
'attacking' done, but there was still a vulnerability discovered. Is THAT considered an illegal act? Is putting a '<3' 
into a web form/comment section considered attacking it if you look at the source to see how the character translated? 
What if you just wanted to make an ascii heart? My point is it's a very blurry line, and there are a lot of scenarios 
where one may discover a vulnerability without even having to do anything.

As for the source code disclosures, there was absolutely no 'attacking' done. This was a huge oversight in the site 
devs, and they were giving that information to anyone who requested it, plain and simple. What about the Tumblr 
incident that happened a while ago? Just because they screwed up a production script, they ended up leaking massive 
amounts of internal infrastructure details, as well as private API keys, and other stuff that could be used for 
nefarious means. Is it illegal to visit that page? I think not, as THEY were putting the information out there (albeit 
by accident), but I as a user have no way to know that. 

I understand what you're saying about them not asking people to look for bugs, but it IS the internet. Companies don't 
typically ask external people to audit their executables either, but people do it for a number of reasons (mainly 

If they leave their site up, people will potentially poke at it. That's just the way it is. If I have a vested interest 
in a company (be it monetary or simply supporting it's cause), I personally want to see the site flourish, because I am 
then a part of that site. I want to make sure that my personal information is protected, and if I do find a bug 
somewhere, I report it. I recently found a XSS in OpenDNS's landing page, and they were very appreciative, very 
professional, and prompt to respond. This made me WANT to work with them further to ensure that their infrastructure 
was hardened to other forms of attack as well. I don't disclose these sorts of issues publicly, because I give the 
developers a chance to fix it, and in my past experience most companies are happy that I reported an issue, because I 
could have just as easily not said anything. If it does come down to it though, I follow my own public disclosure 
policy (http://talesofacoldadmin.com/disclosure.html) based off Rain Forest Puppy's. It basically just asks for 
somewhat consistent lines of communication after I disclose something. If the communication drops (or is non-existent), 
then it's at my own discretion to disclose it in a public forum. 

I don't HAVE to disclose anything to anyone, I CHOOSE to disclose it, but if choosing to disclose something (even in 
private) means potential legal troubles, then that takes away the motivation for me to disclose it in any form. I'm 
still going to be finding bugs for my own educational purposes, but I'll just stop disclosing them. That in itself 
starts to undermine the internet as a whole, leading to the restriction of information exchange, which is appalling. 

It IS technically illegal to do these sorts of tests without consent, but at what point DOES it become a 'test'? 
There's some cases, granted, in which the intention is clear (testing for blind SQL injections, etc) as they leave a 
huge footprint, but there's no explicitly clear line in which it becomes illegal. Is adding a ' to my name illegal? 
What if my 70+ year old grandmother did it by accident? Could she be persecuted as well? You can't apply the law to 
only some situations and not others. 

I also point you to one of my favorite XKCD's => http://xkcd.com/327/

Is naming your kid something like that technically illegal? Then that starts getting into free-speech issues, which are 
most certainly protected by the constitution. If I want my name to be "Ann <! () #$%^&*()> Hero", and the site doesn't 
explicitly tell me I can't do so, then how can I be expected to reasonably know where their boundaries are? I don't see 
any terms of use for using their website anywhere. 

This is all just my opinion though, and sorry for the long message!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Thor (Hammer of God)" <thor () hammerofgod com>
To: "Ryan Sears" <rdsears () mtu edu>, noloader () gmail com
Cc: "full-disclosure" <full-disclosure () lists grok org uk>
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:12:37 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: RE: [Full-disclosure] Vulnerabilities in *McAfee.com

Well, I think there is a flip side to this, and that is the fact that no one is asking these people to inspect their 
sites for vulnerabilities.   They are taking it upon themselves to scan the sites actively looking for vulnerabilities 
for the sole purpose of exposing them.  They may say that they are doing it "to ensure that the vendors fix their 
problems" but it's not really any of their business to do so.    

I think someone would be hard pressed to justify (defend) their actions when they basically "attack" a site that they 
don't own, without permission, with the express intent of finding a vulnerability.  That's the difference between a 
"test" and an "attack."   It doesn't matter how trivial their finds are, or what the outcome of the scan is, it is the 
fact that no one asked, nor wants them to do this.  

Technically, what they are doing is in fact illegal - in the US anyway.   So there is another aspect of this that 
deserves some discussion, I think.


-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk [mailto:full-disclosure-
bounces () lists grok org uk] On Behalf Of Ryan Sears
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:45 AM
To: noloader () gmail com
Cc: full-disclosure
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Vulnerabilities in *McAfee.com

Seriously. I gotta say I feel like people at Cenzic (and Mcafee for that matter),
if anyone should understand that a XSS should really only be construed a
'criminal act' if it's indeed used to attack someone. If a group is taking the time
out of their day to find and disclose issues to Mcafee, they should probably be
thankful. What about finding a vulnerability in Mcafee's virus scanner? Could
that be construed as a 'criminal act' if they disclose it? Where do you draw the

Basically this sort of thing pushes the community into silence until something
truly criminal happens. I'm not saying give anyone massive amounts of credit
for publishing a few XSS bugs (because there's millions of them out there),
but don't label them as a criminal for trying to help. That's just idiotic IMO.

If you run an enterprise level solution for antivirus AND web vulnerability
testing, the community understands that it's a process not unlike any other.
There will be bugs, but it only demolishes the image of Mcafee to see them
handle it like this in particular. If they would have been appreciative about it,
and promptly fixed their website (or at the very least maintained friendly
contact) this incident would have pretty much gone un-noticed.

Look at LastPass as an example.


They had someone poking at their site, who managed to find a XSS bug using
CRLF injections. They were appreciative of the find, 2.5 hrs later the issue was
fixed, and there was that blog post about exactly what they were going to do
about it. They took full responsibility for the fact that THEIR coding was to
blame, and basically said 'This is what happened, and this is why it will
probably never happen again'. This spoke hugely to me (as I'm sure it did the
rest of the community) because it shows a company that's willing to admit it
made a mistake, as opposed to sitting on their haunches and blaming people
for looking for these sorts of bugs. Oh and not every customer of their service
has to pay massive licensing fees, as there's a free version as well. In my mind
at least this equates to a company that cares more about their customers that
don't pay a single dime, then a company who forces people to pay massive
amounts of coin for shaky automated scanning and services. That's just the
way I see it though.

Someone's gotta tell the emperor he has no clothes on.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey Walton" <noloader () gmail com>
To: "YGN Ethical Hacker Group" <lists () yehg net>
Cc: "full-disclosure" <full-disclosure () lists grok org uk>
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:05:42 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Vulnerabilities in *McAfee.com

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM, YGN Ethical Hacker Group <lists () yehg net>
According to xssed.com,  there are two remaining XSS issues:

https://kb.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=";; alert(1); //
https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=";; alert(1); //

You guys know our disclosed issues are very simple and can easily be
found through viewing HTML/JS source codes and simple Google Hacking


However,  it was criticized as 'illegal break-in' by Cenzic's CMO,
http://www.cenzic.com/company/management/khera/,  according to
World News editor - Ellen Messmer.  Thus, the next target is Cenzic
web site. Let's see how strong the Kung-Fu of Cenzic HailStorm scanner
Too funny.... I wonder is Aaron Barr is consulting for Cenzic.



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Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html
Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/

Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html
Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/

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