Saturday, June 8, 2013

Flash based XSS in Yahoo Mail

I discovered a XSS vulnerability in IO Utility [1] of YUI library. In this post I explained the vulnerability and it's affect on Yahoo Mail.  

The ExternalInterface class in ActionScript is an application programming interface that enables communication between ActionScript and the SWF container. This class has a method named "call()" which invokes a JavaScript function if the container is a HTML page. It takes two parameters, the first one is the name of the JavaScript function to call and the other one is a string to pass to that JavaScript function. It is possible to execute malicious JavaScript in context of container if one of these parameters are attacker-controlled [2].

In IO Utility of YUI, io.swf (located at yui\build\io-xdr\io.swf) was vulnerable to XSS. As you can see in figure 1, yid and uid are derived from user input and then used as a parameter in without any validation. 
Figure 1 - Vulnerable code
By this vulnerability attacker could execute malicious JavaScript in context of io.swf container.

Yahoo Mail was affected by this vulnerability because, io.swf was hosted at Yahoo mail main domain (fail!) and accessible from for logged in users.

Figure 2 - io.swf hosted in Yahoo Mail domain

How to exploit this issue:
Yahoo uses HTTPOnly flag for cookies so it's not possible to hijack cookies but as io.swf is hosted in context of us-mg[x] I was able to execute JavaScript in context of us-mg[x] For example by sending below URL to a Yahoo Mail user it was possible to read his inbox.\%22%29%29;}catch%28e%29{'');setTimeout('alert(x.document.body.innerText)',4000)}//
In a future post I'll explain the exploitation of this type of vulnerabilities. 
PoC Video:

June 6th, YUI 3.10.1 released which fixed this issue. Fix is based on a regular expression which validates the yid and uid value.
Figure 3 - Vulnerability fixed
Yahoo Security team response:
I was aware of this vulnerability for a long time but I didn't interested to report it to Yahoo Security because my past experiences shows that nothing more than a T-shirt could be achieved (they don't send it to Iran :P), even no credit for responsible disclosure when you report a vulnerability to Yahoo! 

However recently I sent an email and asked if they pay reward for responsible disclosure and they replied:
Figure 4 - Yahoo Security team response



  1. haha...good. Nice move. Why help them if they don't pay reasonable compensation, i mean it's a Multi-Million Dollar company.

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