Scripting Vulnerabilities in Indian Email Providers

The email services of several big Indian portals are susceptible to scripting attacks i.e., malicious code can be embedded by attackers into email messages, that, when received by unsuspecting users, can cause harmful effects. The services are Rediffmail.com, Indiatimes.com, Sify.com. The combined user base of these services runs into millions and all of these users are vulnerable. I’ve known about most of these vulnerabilities for years now and I am now releasing them because many are being massively exploited in the wild. All attempts to contact the vendors were unfruitful.

Details 

It is possible to embed malicious scripts in an ordinary email to users of these services because of certain flaws in their anti-scripting filters. Since, these filters are not as robust as the filters used by service providers like Yahoo and Hotmail, many more flaws, similar to those detailed here, are undoubtedly present in these services. Some of the attacks possible through exploitation of these flaws:

1. User names and passwords can be stolen. Spoofed login pages are one of the many methods to do so
2. Web pages belonging to the portals can be spoofed, including the shopping cart system
3. Any action that the legitimate user can take can also be taken by the malicious code. Cookies can be stolen
4. Malicious programs can be executed when combined with browser vulnerabilities
5. Force-feeding websites to users. Spammers, phishers and scammers can redirect users to their own pages
6. A malicious worm can be created which can traverse through the entire user base and cause destruction
7. Users can be locked out of their inboxes

Technical details:

Rediffmail (http://rediffmail.com)

Rediffmail has the most robust security system among all three. However, it is still susceptible to several attacks

Indiatimes Mail (http://email.indiatimes.com):
Indiatimes email does not have a scripting filter in place. This means all HTML tags including scripts can be embedded into the email without any security obstacles.

Vendor status:
Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to contact the vendors. Emails alerts did not receive responses.

Complete details in http://www.securiteam.com/securitynews/6X00K20C1U.html

Leave a Reply