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Google Gmail cross-site request forgery vulnerability

Vulnerability Note VU#571584

Original Release Date: 2007-10-01 | Last Revised: 2008-02-12


According to public reports, Google Gmail contained a cross-site request forgery (XSRF) vulnerability that allowed attackers to create email filters that could forward mail and attachments to arbitrary email addresses.


Google Gmail is a web-based mail service. Gmail provides support for email filters that allow users to sort and forward mail.

According to a report on the GNUCITIZEN site, Gmail contained a cross-site request forgery (XSRF) vulnerability that allowed attackers to create mail filters and forward mail to arbitrary email addresses. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would have had to convince a user to click or open a specially crafted hyperlink while the user was logged into their Gmail account. The hyperlink would have contained an http POST request that created the mail filter.


A remote attacker could have collected email addresses, emails, and attachments from a user's Gmail account.


According to publicly available reports, Google has addressed this vulnerability.

The following workarounds may partially mitigate future cross-site scripting (XSS) and XSRF vulnerabilities:

Workarounds for users

    • Using Gmail's SMTP and POP or IMAP servers to send and receive mail will mitigate vulnerabilities in the Gmail web interface.
    • The NoScript Firefox extension may mitigate XSRF and XSS vulnerabilities by restricting which sites can execute JavaScript and send cross-site POST requests.
    • Encrypting sensitive emails and attachments will limit the impact of XSRF or other authentication bypass vulnerabilities.
Workarounds for administrators
    • Blacklisting known XSS or XSRF exploit URLs using proxy server or application firewall rules at the network permiter may prevent some vulnerabilities from being exploited. Note that this workaround will not stop all known XSS or XSRF attack vectors.

Vendor Information


Google Affected

Updated:  October 01, 2007



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



Information about this vulnerability was disclosed on the GNUCITIZEN web site.

This document was written by Ryan Giobbi.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 0.79
Date Public: 2007-09-25
Date First Published: 2007-10-01
Date Last Updated: 2008-02-12 11:44 UTC
Document Revision: 19

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