AJAX Apps Ripe Targets for JavaScript Hijacking

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 04-02-2007
Fortify Software has documented what the security firm is calling a "pervasive and critical" vulnerability in Web 2.0 applications—specifically, in the ability of an attacker to use a JavaScript vulnerability to steal critical data by emulating unsuspecting users.

The vulnerability—which allows an exploit called JavaScript Hijacking—can be found in the biggest AJAX frameworks out there, including three server-integrated toolkits: Microsoft ASP.Net AJAX (aka Atlas), Google Web Toolkit and xajax—the last of which is an open-source PHP-class library implementation of AJAX.

Client-side libraries that Fortify inspected and found to be vulnerable are the Yahoo UI, Prototype, Script.aculo.us, Dojo, Moo.fx, jQuery, Rico and MochiKit.

Of the AJAX frameworks and client-side libraries Fortify inspected, only DWR 2.0 (Direct Web Remoting 2.0) has mechanisms to prevent JavaScript Hijacking.

That isn't surprising, given that Joe Walker, who developed DWR, wrote about the JavaScript Hijacking flaw in early March.

According to Fortify, the other AJAX frameworks don't explicitly provide any protection, nor do their documentation materials mention the vulnerability as a security concern.

Brian Chess, Fortify Software's co-founder and Chief Scientist, told eWEEK that the security firm is getting a ho-hum reaction from some regarding the news, since JavaScript has never been considered to be safe anyway.

"Everybody hears, 'Oh, there's a JavaScript security problem,' and everybody says, 'Oh yeah, everybody knows JavaScript is a security concern in itself,'" Chess said.

This, however, is the first type of JavaScript problem that Chess knows of that specifically targets AJAX-style and Web 2.0-style applications, he said.

Read the full story on eWeek: AJAX Apps Ripe Targets for JavaScript Hijacking