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Security, Technology and Life

Posts Tagged ‘Browsers

Opera to support HttpOnly

with 3 comments

Heya. I haven’t blogged in awhile but I do want to start getting back into it.

So, we’ll start with something small.

I read this article the other day about updates coming to Opera in 9.5 and was pleasantly suprised to read that it will support HttpOnly cookies. Now, if you don’t know what that is I’ll give a quick run-down. Normally, cookies are able to be accessed through scripts with things like document.cookie in JavaScript. Along with the normal cookie header, in Set-Cookie you can set it to HttpOnly. This means the cookie cannot normally be read from means other than sending it in an Http Request. This slightly mitigates using XSS to steal credentials as you can no longer read the cookie with JavaScript and send it out, but obviously doesn’t stop phishing via any means. Many sites do use HttpOnly cookies but currently,  only Internet Explorer supports it. If you use a browser that doesn’t support it,  it simply is downgraded to a normal cookie. To be fair, Firefox 3 is planned to have support for it as well but it seems 9.5 will be out before FF3. At any rate, while this won’t stop XSS, it basically eliminates the risk of cookie theft.

Just remember though, cookie theft isn’t the only credentials that can be stolen with XSS or other methods. ‘Dynamic’ phishing methods that don’t rely on a third-party site are still somewhat hard to detect and should be watched out for.


Written by Rodney G

05/10/2007 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Other browsers expanding on Opera weirdness

with one comment

rsnake recently made a post regarding some weirdness I found in Opera. Opera gives an error message when unencoded html is inserted into the address bar.

The URL http://<script&gt; contains characters that are not valid in the location they are found.

  • The reason for their presence may be a mistyped URL, but the URL may also be an attempt to trick you into visiting a website which you might mistakenly think is a site you trust.

This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this. Now while it may not in itself be a security feature, it could certainly go in that direction. If it also dealt with encoded chevrons (< as %3C) then it could be a large jump forward in the fight against XSS, specifically reflected vectors.
I have posted on a few various Web Browser community boards
with hopes to get attention to this suggestion. I doubt it will be implemented soon.
But with XSS being the top risk lately, it’s slightly comforting to know we might have
at least some defense.

I’ll update my non-existant readers on the status of the message board threads.

Written by Rodney G

09/22/2006 at 12:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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