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Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:33:13 +0000
From: antisnatchor <>
To: "Nicholas Lemonias." <>
Subject: Re: Google vulnerabilities with PoC

Nicholas Lemonias. wrote:
> Hi Jerome,
> Thank you for agreeing on access control, and separation of duties.
> However successful exploitation permits arbitrary write() of any file of
> choice.
> I could release an exploit code in C Sharp or Python that permits multiple
> file uploads of any file/types, if the Google security team feels that this
> would be necessary. This is unpaid work, so we are not so keen on that job.

LOL you mean 1, maybe 2 hours, you need to write (and test) a
Ruby/Python script.
I don't know your hourly rate, but wouldn't that be like 200$? Is that
really worth?

Also, the point that this 'bug' counts as a valid finding when you do
pentests, well it's a long story.
If you see reports from the big4 companies, you can always notice info
findings as in TRACE enabled
(you can't 'exploit' that through XHR from years anyways), but simply
you wouldn't expect Google to pay you
for such a bug. Same with this bug.

> On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 6:04 AM, Jerome Athias <>wrote:
>> Hi
>> I concur that we are mainly discussing a terminology problem.
>> In the context of a Penetration Test or WAPT, this is a Finding.
>> Reporting this finding makes sense in this context.
>> As a professional, you would have to explain if/how this finding is a
>> Weakness*, a Violation (/Regulations, Compliance, Policies or
>> Requirements[1])
>> * I would say Weakness + Exposure = Vulnerability. Vulnerability +
>> Exploitability (PoC) = Confirmed Vulnerability that needs Business
>> Impact and Risk Analysis
>> So I would probably have reported this Finding as a Weakness (and not
>> Vulnerability. See: OWASP, WASC-TC, CWE), explaining that it is not
>> Best Practice (your OWASP link and Cheat Sheets), and even if
>> mitigative/compensative security controls (Ref Orange Book), security
>> controls like white listing (or at least black listing. see also
>> ESAPI) should be 1) part of the [1]security requirements of a proper
>> SDLC (Build security in) as per Defense-in-Depth security principles
>> and 2) used and implemented correctly.
>> NB: A simple Threat Model (i.e. list of CAPEC) would be a solid
>> support to your report
>> This would help to evaluate/measure the risk (e.g. CVSS).
>> Helping the decision/actions around this risk
>> PS: interestingly, in this case, I'm not sure that the Separation of
>> Duties security principle was applied correctly by Google in term of
>> Risk Acceptance (which could be another Finding)
>> So in few words, be careful with the terminology. (don't always say
>> vulnerability like the media say hacker, see RFC1392) Use a CWE ID
>> (e.g. CWE-434, CWE-183, CWE-184 vs. CWE-616)
>> My 2 bitcents
>> Sorry if it is not edible :)
>> Happy Hacking!
>> /JA
>> 2014-03-14 7:19 GMT+03:00 Michal Zalewski <>:
>>> Nicholas,
>>> I remember my early years in the infosec community - and sadly, so do
>>> some of the more seasoned readers of this list :-) Back then, I
>>> thought that the only thing that mattered is the ability to find bugs.
>>> But after some 18 years in the industry, I now know that there's an
>>> even more important and elusive skill.
>>> That skill boils down to having a robust mental model of what
>>> constitutes a security flaw - and being able to explain your thinking
>>> to others in a precise and internally consistent manner that convinces
>>> others to act. We need this because the security of a system can't be
>>> usefully described using abstract terms: even the academic definitions
>>> ultimately boil down to saying "the system is secure if it doesn't do
>>> the things we *really* don't want it to do".
>>> In this spirit, the term "vulnerability" is generally reserved for
>>> behaviors that meet all of the following criteria:
>>> 1) The behavior must have negative consequences for at least one of
>>> the legitimate stakeholders (users, service owners, etc),
>>> 2) The consequences must be widely seen as unexpected and unacceptable,
>>> 3) There must be a realistic chance of such a negative outcome,
>>> 4) The behavior must introduce substantial new risks that go beyond
>>> the previously accepted trade-offs.
>>> If we don't have that, we usually don't have a case, no matter how
>>> clever the bug is.
>>> Cheers (and happy hunting!),
>>> /mz
>>> _______________________________________________
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> _______________________________________________
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