Steemit target _blank vulnerability inspection

in security •  last year  (edited)

logo security.png

Example of exploit of the "target _blank" vulnerability
code snippet.png

The vulnerability in this case is not exploited because steemit does not open by default the above link (and links in general) in a new tab.

Steemit though uses target _blank for many other links on their platform. That means that if any of those third party websites are compromised a phishing attack could be performed on the steemit webpage.

Feel free to download the script and try it locally simply changing the links to use a local path like "file:///C:/Users/your-username/Documents/test.html" and redirect to a fake login page like this:
fake login page smaller.png

See my previous bug report for details on this potential bug and common solutions: https://steemit.com/steemit-issues/@gaottantacinque/steemit-minor-bugs-reporting

UPDATE:

Internet is a safe place!! (..not)


The attack does not work on Steemit. I tested it on all major browsers changing on client site the links that use target _blank to point to the page that redirects the original tab to a phishing page. The original tab (Steemit) was not redirected thanks to their use of noreferrer noopener in the links that use target _blank.

The problem though is that it works like a charm on all major social media platforms!
Posting something like the link above ( eg. https://mycatnamedweb.github.io/ ) as a facebook comment or post, the new opened tab is easily able to redirect the original tab into a phishing page.

Affected browsers and social media platforms:

  • Chrome: Linkedin
  • Edge: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter (warning displayed for the latter)
  • Firefox: Facebook, Linkedin
  • Opera: Facebook, Linkdein
  • Safari: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter (warning displayed for the latter)
  • ...

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  ·  last year (edited)

This is not XSS.

Also, Steemit already does this. SanitizeConfig.js, line 180.

            if (!href.match(/^(\/(?!\/)|https:\/\/steemit.com)/)) {
                // attys.target = '_blank' // pending iframe impl https://mathiasbynens.github.io/rel-noopener/
                attys.rel = highQualityPost ? 'noopener' : 'nofollow noopener';
                attys.title = getExternalLinkWarningMessage();
            }

The attack doesn't work for me (I'm running Firefox).

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It's not an XSS attack per se but if one of the trusted sites, A, has been compromised by an XSS attack, with the ability to inject a script then this attack can be leveraged to also compromise the access credentials to site B (steemit in this case) by redirecting the login attempt on site B to a malicious imitation of site B's login page.

AFAIK nofollow and noopener don't fix the issue on Safari and other old versions of popular browsers.

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