Is Another Web-Based Super Worm on the Way?

Is Another Web-Based Super Worm on the Way?
Is Another Web-Based Super Worm on the Way?

Forwarded with permission from: Security UPDATE 


VeriSign's Extended Validation SSL Certificates 

Top Ten Server Virtualization Considerations 

Protect Info from Phishing and Pharming Exploits 

=== CONTENTS ==================================================
IN FOCUS: Is Another Web-Based Super Worm on the Way?

   - Google Buys GreenBorder, Gains Security Technology
   - Mozilla Releases Firefox Updates, Retires Firefox 1.5.0.x
   - Spam King Gets Slapped with 35 Criminal Charges
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities

   - Security Matters Blog: PHP 5.2.3 Coming Soon--RC1 Available Now; 
Windows Media Player Plug-In for Firefox
   - FAQ: Disable IE Enhanced Security in Windows Server 2008
   - From the Forum: Multiple Web Servers Behind One IP address with a 
Proxy Server?
   - Share Your Security Tips
   - Microsoft Learning Paths for Security: Reducing the Challenges and 
Complexities of Identity and Access Management 

   - Web Filter Gets Reporting Engine
   - Product Evaluations from the Real World




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=== IN FOCUS: Is Another Web-Based Super Worm on the Way? =====   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

Over the years, we've seen a number of "super worms." For example, 
Nimda, Code Red, and SQL Slammer were devastatingly effective. They 
spread quickly, infected a huge number of systems, and cost much money 
to eradicate. 

Worm technology has certainly evolved, and in many cases it basically 
follows the path of least resistance. Since Web technology is dominant 
and Ajax (a combination of JavaScript and XML) is being more widely 
used every day, it seems rather natural that worms begin to target 
those technologies. 

In fact, back in 2005, someone created an Ajax-based worm (dubbed Samy) 
and turned it loose on MySpace. The worm worked by taking advantage of 
the browser when a MySpace user visited a particular MySpace page. The 
page loaded JavaScript worm code that used Ajax to spread itself to the 
MySpace user's page. And that cycle kept repeating itself. Within 24 
hours, Samy had reportedly spread to more than 1 million MySpace pages! 
You can read a blow-by-blow description of how the worm worked at this 

Samy took advantage of several problems with Ajax technology, one of 
which is the familiar cross-site scripting (XSS) scenario in which a 
script from one site interacts with another site. If someone were to 
take a worm like Samy further by automating it to contain a longer list 
of sites vulnerable to XSS attacks, the effect could be far more 
significant. After all, if the Samy worm could infect over 1 million 
MySpace sites in only 24 hours, then a worm targeting many different 
sites would spread exponentially faster. Furthermore, such a worm could 
do a lot more than simply spread itself. It could, for example, easily 
be made to steal user credentials and post that information someplace 
for an intruder to receive. 

Recently, Petko Petkov showed how using a combination of available 
technologies would provide the means for a new super worm to be 
created. You might know about, a site that aggregates lists 
of other sites that contain XSS vulnerabilities. The lists are 
presented in an easy-to-parse format and include examples of how to 
exploit each XSS vulnerability. Having such a database available online 
is useful, even educational, but at the same time, it's a treasure 
trove for a malicious coder. 

Petkov showed that a new super worm could use as a base and 
technologies such as Dapper and Yahoo Pipes to spread itself at 
lightning speed. Dapper (at the first URL below) lets people grab 
content from nearly any Web site. The content can be automatically 
formatted into XML (and other formats). So, effectively, someone can 
use Dapper to create a list of sites vulnerable to XSS along with the 
sites' associated exploits, all in XML formatted code that a script can 
then use for attacks. Yahoo Pipes (at the second URL below) lets the 
malicious script obtain a list very quickly on the fly. 

With that data and technology available, a worm would spread incredibly 
quickly. The problem is compounded by the fact that neither Dapper nor 
Yahoo Pipes specifically is necessary for such a worm to work. The 
technology provided by those two services could easily be recreated on 
any number of sites around the Internet. So stopping such a worm isn't 
as simple as it might seem at first. The best defense of course is to 
not create Web sites that contain XSS vulnerabilities!  

You can read more about Petkov's ideas at the first URL below. The 
upcoming Black Hat USA 2007 conference will have at least three 
presentations that deal with Web worms (see the second URL below), 
including "Attacking Web Service Security: Message Oriented Madness, 
XML Worms and Web Service Security Sanity" by Brad Hill; "Premature 
Ajax-ulation" by Bryan Sullivan and Billy Hoffman; and "The Little 
Hybrid Web Worm that Could" by Billy Hoffman and John Terrill. So if 
you're going to Black Hat USA this year (July 28 - August 2 in Las 
Vegas), consider attending these presentations. 

=== SPONSOR: SWSoft ===========================================
Top Ten Server Virtualization Considerations
   The playing field for server virtualization has become much more 
crowded over the last few years. This checklist provides a list of the 
main considerations and basic differences between the technologies to 
provide a starting point for technology evaluation. 

=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES ================================
Google Buys GreenBorder, Gains Security Technology
   Expanding its security tools further, Google has acquired 
GreenBorder Technologies, maker of security tools that protect 
browsers, IM clients, and email clients. 

Mozilla Releases Firefox Updates, Retires Firefox 1.5.0.x
   Mozilla Foundation released updates for Firefox that fix five 
vulnerabilities present in both the 2.0.0.x and 1.5.0.x versions and 
said that unless a serious problem is discovered in the 1.5.0.x series, 
no further updates to it will be made available. 

Spam King Gets Slapped with 35 Criminal Charges
   Robert Alan Solloway, infamous as a prolific spammer, has been 
arrested in Seattle and charged with several federal offenses. The 
arrest warrant charges Solloway with 35 counts of mail fraud, wire 
fraud, email-based fraud, identity theft, and money laundering. 

Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security 
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at 

=== SPONSOR: Websense =========================================
Protect Info from Phishing and Pharming Exploits
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=== GIVE AND TAKE =============================================
SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: PHP 5.2.3 Coming Soon--RC1 Available Now; 
Windows Media Player Plug-In for Firefox
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

PHP 5.2.3 will probably be released in the next week or two unless 
major problems are discovered in RC1. Get a link to test RC1 right now; 
plus get a link for a Microsoft-developed Windows Media Player (WMP) 
plug-in for Mozilla Firefox. 

FAQ: Disable IE Enhanced Security in Windows Server 2008
by John Savill, 

Q: How do I turn off Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration 
in Windows Server 2008?

Find the answer at 

FROM THE FORUM: Multiple Web Servers Behind One IP Address with a Proxy 
   A forum participant writes that he has a cable modem connection with 
a domain name mapped to his dynamic IP address. He has multiple Web 
servers on his network that he wants to make accessible to the 
Internet. When he had only one Web server, he could use port forwarding 
to make that site accessible, but now with several servers, he wonders 
if he needs to use a proxy server to forward requests to the 
appropriate site. He also wonders if an article is available that 
details how to set up a Windows Server 2003 machine as a proxy server. 

   Share your security-related tips, comments, or problems and 
solutions in Security Pro VIP's Reader to Reader column. Email your 
contributions to If we print your submission, 
you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.

Complexities of Identity and Access Management
   Learn how to reduce and control the challenges and complexities of 
enterprisewide identity and access management. Gain more control by 
providing a single view of a user's identity across the enterprise 
through the automation of common tasks. And learn how to use an 
integrated approach with smart cards, certificate and password 
management, and user provisioning. 

=== PRODUCTS ================================================== by Renee Munshi, 

Web Filter Gets Reporting Engine
   Barracuda Networks announced the immediate availability of new 
reporting capabilities in Barracuda Web Filter firmware 3.2. The 
updated firmware adds a set of reports based on criteria such as user 
behavior, traffic patterns over time, bandwidth usage, domain requests, 
Web site categories and log history and supports PDF, HTML, text, and 
CSV output formats. The 3.2 firmware release also lets existing 
Barracuda Web Filter customers compile reports on historical Web 
traffic. (Barracuda Web Filter can store approximately six months of 
Web traffic history.) Barracuda Web Filter customers with current 
Energize Updates subscriptions can upgrade to the new firmware release 
at no additional charge. For more information, go to 

   Share your product experience with your peers. Have you discovered a 
great product that saves you time and money? Do you use something you 
wouldn't wish on anyone? Tell the world! If we publish your opinion, 
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=== RESOURCES AND EVENTS ======================================   For more security-related resources, visit 

Learn how to achieve ROI with your log management system in a matter of 
months without costly or daunting investments. Attend this Web seminar 
and learn how to ensure that your organization gets the most out of its 
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Tune in to the hottest network security products by listening to this 
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Director Karen Forster and Microsoft's Ian Hameroff. Learn how Network 
Access Control (NAC) and Network Access Protection (NAP) work, the 
technologies that are involved, and which third-party products are 
poised to work with those technologies. 

Don't miss the 16th USENIX Security Symposium in Boston, August 6-10, 
2007. Security '07 offers in-depth training by experts such as Richard 
Bejtlich (on TCP/IP Weapons School) and Dan Geer (on measuring 
security). The comprehensive technical program includes a keynote 
address by Steven Levy, senior editor and columnist at "Newsweek," on 
"How the iPod Shuffled the World as We Know It"; 23 refereed papers; 
and talks by Gary McGraw and Peter Gutmann. Don't miss the latest 
advances in the security of computer systems and networks. Register by 
July 16 and save! 

=== FEATURED WHITE PAPER ======================================
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