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Security breach / hijack of Universal Email template

Thread began 5/14/2013 7:17 am by Steve | Last modified 5/14/2013 10:26 am by Jason Byrnes | 464 views | 3 replies |


Security breach / hijack of Universal Email template

Check the attachment... It shows a sequence where a hacker found out the code level processing in Universal Email and was able to push their own form values in a manner that populated the email.

The attachment shows the time stamps also which document #1 form found and populated via our top level form. #2 they find that they can submit their own form values. #3 a fully sent form using their own form post values.

I've never understood what these hackers gained by populating a form with spam values. I could understand gaining access to an SMTP server to push spam so this latest means of manipulating the Universal Email template page brings concern.

Anyone else see this type of activity and have a simple solution to stop unauthorized access?

I'll be adding a honeypot field to this form though not sure this will help since it seems the hacker is bypassing our public served form all together.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

make sure that the server validation server behavior and the universal email server behavior both use the same trigger, if they use separate triggers it is possible to bypass the validation but still send the email.

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I'm thinking that they are opening the page and then via the Developers Tools for a browser are changing the text fields and then resubmitting. If they exclude my honeypot field (cracker) the form will pass validation.

Otherwise what server side validation are you talking of Jason?

Here's my basic honeypot conditional statement that wraps the insert and email functions:

// Cracker honeypot check

 if (!isset($_POST['cracker'])) {
// WA DataAssist Insert
if ($_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD"] == "POST") // Trigger
  $WA_connection = $....;
  $WA_table = ".......";
  $WA_sessionName = "sessLead";
  $WA_redirectURL = "";
  if (function_exists("rel2abs")) $WA_redirectURL = $WA_redirectURL?rel2abs($WA_redirectURL,dirname(__FILE__)):"";
  $WA_keepQueryString = false; 
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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

honeypot validation should not just check that a form element doesn't exist which is what your code does.

it should validate that the form element does exist and is left empty:

if(isset($_POST['cracker']) && $_POST['cracker'] == "") {

also on public forms you should be using server validation to ensure that the data entered to the form is of the intended type.

server validation can be accessed under webassist -> Forms -> Server Validation.

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