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CERT Coordination Center

Flash authoring tools create Flash files that contain cross-site scripting vulnerabilities

Vulnerability Note VU#249337

Original Release Date: 2008-01-02 | Last Revised: 2008-06-16

Overview

A number of authoring tools for Flash content may generate files that contain cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. Any site hosting Flash generated by an affected tool could be vulnerable to cross-site scripting.

Description

ActionScript is a scripting language based on ECMAScript (also referred to as JavaScript) used primarily for the development of websites and software using Adobe Flash. The resulting Flash content is typically published in the form of SWF files embedded in web pages. ActionScript within a Flash file creates dynamic content on the web and interacts with web browsers in a manner similar to JavaScript, VBScript, and other client-side scripting languages. As with traditional script content in HTML pages, improperly validated user-controlled input in Flash files can execute arbitrary ActionScript and JavaScript in the context of the domain hosting the affected Flash file. One specific type of vulnerability depends on the behavior of a special ActionScript protocol called asfunction. The asfunction protocol is used for URLs in HTML text fields and causes a link to invoke an ActionScript function in a Flash file instead of opening a URL. An attacker could call all public and static functions by supplying a string parameter to asfunction. There exist other types of vulnerabilities as well.

Applications that generate Flash files (e.g., "save as SWF", "export to SWF", etc.) by using vulnerable templates or by including static Flash content like a controller may automatically insert generic and vulnerable ActionScript into saved files. As a result, all Flash files generated by these affected applications create cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in the domains hosting these files. Furthermore, exploitation of these vulnerabilities would be consistent across all sites using a particular product and vulnerable sites could be identified through a web search.

Impact

Any website hosting Flash files generated by an affected product is vulnerable to cross-site scripting in the context of the domain hosting the vulnerable file. Secondary impacts include the ability to spoof or modify web content, access website information such as cookies, or retrieve data from an encrypted HTTPS connection. For a more detailed description of the impact of cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, please see CERT Advisory CA-2000-02.

Solution

Upgrade or apply an update or patch
Updates for affected authoring tools have been released to address this issue. Please see the Systems Affected section of this document for more information. Note that this section is not complete, vendors that create vulnerable Flash authoring tools may not be listed.

Vulnerable Flash files must be regenerated after the affected authoring tools have been updated.

Adobe has included mitigations in Flash Player to block attacks against some cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in Flash files (APSB07-20).


Workarounds

Until patches can be applied and affected Flash files regenerated, website owners may wish to remove automatically generated Flash files or at least serve automatically generated Flash files from "safe" domains, such as numbered IP addresses.

Developers of applications that save to SWF are encouraged to perform proper input validation on all user definable variables used in URL loading ActionScript functions and the htmlText variable. Specifically,

    • Whitelist protocol handlers to allow only "http:" and "https:" in all URL loading functions.
    • Whitelist characters in user definable input when used in getURL(). Do not rely on escape(). When feasible, only allow alphanumeric characters.
    • Whitelist and/or HTML entity encode user input in htmlText.
    • Load SWF files from relative URLs. The relative URL should not contain "..".

Vendor Information

249337
 
Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

Adobe

Notified:  October 04, 2007 Updated:  January 17, 2008

Status

  Vulnerable

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.

Addendum

Adobe has published multiple Adobe Product Security Bulletins to address this issue. APSB08-01 describes updates for the Adobe Dreamweaver and Contribute products. APSB08-02 describes updates for the Adobe Connect Enterprise Server product. Note that these two bulletins supercede information previously published in Adobe Product Security Advisory APSA07-06.

Users are also encouraged to review Adobe Product Security Bulletin APSB07-20 that documents mitigations in the Adobe Flash Player for some cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

Autodemo

Notified:  November 27, 2007 Updated:  December 13, 2007

Status

  Vulnerable

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.

InfoSoft Global

Notified:  November 27, 2007 Updated:  December 13, 2007

Status

  Vulnerable

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.

TechSmith Corporation

Notified:  November 27, 2007 Updated:  June 16, 2008

Status

  Vulnerable

Vendor Statement

TechSmith has published a Security Bulletin to address this issue.  Security Bulletin 1
(
http://www.techsmith.com/security/bulletins/B1_Cross-SiteScriptinginFlashSWFFiles.asp)
describes updates to Camtasia Studio (v5.1) to address the vulnerability.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A

References

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Rich Cannings of the Google Security Team for reporting this vulnerability. Stefano Di Paola of Minded Security originally published information about the general problem of cross-site scripting in Flash applications.

This document was written by Chad Dougherty.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 5.40
Date Public: 2007-05-18
Date First Published: 2008-01-02
Date Last Updated: 2008-06-16 13:36 UTC
Document Revision: 49

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