[NT] Predictable Directory Structure Allows Theft of Netscape Preferences File

From: support@securiteam.com
Date: 11/21/02

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    To: list@securiteam.com
    Date: 21 Nov 2002 11:21:24 +0200

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      Predictable Directory Structure Allows Theft of Netscape Preferences File


    Netscape Communications Corp.'s Communicator is a popular package that
    includes a web browser (Navigator), e-mail client, news client, and
    address book. A vulnerability in the product allows stealing of the user's


    Socially engineering users of Netscape Communicator 4.x's web browser and
    e-mail client into clicking on a malicious link could return the contents
    of the targeted user's preferences file back to a remote attacker.

    The attack involves the redefinition of user_pref(), which is an internal
    JavaScript function. The redefined function constructs a string of all
    user preferences stored in the hidden field of a form and later submitted
    by another JavaScript routine. In order for the redefinition to occur, an
    attacker must store the exploit script in a Windows (or Samba) share and
    coerce a victim into following a link to it. A sample link to an attack
    script would look like file:///attacker.example.com/thief.html.
    Communicator only allows local files to redefine internal functions.

    Remote exploitation allows an attacker to steal user preferences,
    including the victim's real name, e-mail address, e-mail server, URL
    history and, in some cases, e-mail password.

    Netscape Communicator 4.x is vulnerable. Communicator 6 and later is not
    vulnerable, being it stores the prefs.js file in a randomized location.

    Disclosure timeline:
    08/29/2002 Issue disclosed to iDEFENSE
    10/14/2002 Netscape notified (support@netscape.com, info@netscape.com,
    10/14/2002 iDEFENSE clients notified
    10/31/2002 Second attempt at vendor contact
    11/07/2002 Third attempt at vendor contact
    11/19/2002 Public disclosure


    The information has been provided by <mailto:dendler@idefense.com> David
    Endler of iDEFENSE, the vulnerability was discovered by
    <mailto:bennett@peacefire.org> Bennett Haselton.


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