Null pointer exploit excites researchers

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by MrBrian, Apr 21, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Excerpt from http://www.cio.com.au/index.php/id;342968942:

    "In 1996 it was Aleph One's astounding paper, "Smashing the Stack for fun and Profit" that introduced a generation of Information Security researchers, and eventually the world at large, to the inherent exploitability of buffer overflows and introduced techniques that would form the basis of proving that a vulnerability was exploitable (as well as the basis of any number of exploits themselves).

    In 2008 it is Mark Dowd's paper "Application-Specific Attacks: Leveraging the ActionScript Virtual Machine" that looks set to have a similar effect on the field of Information Security. Already the small but growing group of Information Security experts that have had the chance to read and digest the contents of the paper are expressing an excited concern, depending on how they are interpreting the contents of the paper."
     
  2. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  3. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Excerpt from http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-tier...er-security-flaws-the-/2008/04/21/3398980.htm:

    "IT security software specialist Tier-3 says that a
    report on Slashdot regarding Flash vulnerabilities indicates that null
    pointer security flaws could be here to stay and quickly evolve into
    the next big thing in hacking exploits."

    "Tier-3's, CTO, Geoff Sweeney agrees, 'We have been monitoring this for
    some time and confirm that null pointer security flaws are exploitable
    and could quickly replace buffer overflows as the next big threat.
    Buffer overflows are of course still an issue, but they are a problem
    that has been tackled by the industry for many years. Null pointer
    de-referencing has not received anywhere near the same level of
    attention, which means that users need to be more vigilant than ever.'"
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  4. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Excerpt from http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid14_gci1310528,00.html:

    "And while the ability to reliably exploit these [Null pointer] conditions is a major advance, researchers say, the other important aspect of Dowd's work is that it puts the lie to the belief that high-level programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, C# and others are not vulnerable to memory corruption. Flash, where Dowd tested his exploit, is written in ActionScript, a scripting language based on JavaScript. It has been commonly thought that, in general, only low-level languages such as C are vulnerable to memory-corruption attacks. That no longer seems to be the case."

    "'People have assumed that these high-level languages weren't vulnerable to memory corruption because they don't work directly with memory. What Mark did that's even creepier than the NULL pointer thing is he found a way to make them vulnerable to memory corruption,' said Thomas Ptacek, a principal at Matasano Security, who wrote a long explanation of Dowd's paper recently. 'So when you think about it, that means that the status of high-level languages as safe is no longer true.'"
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.