Thursday, February 22, 2007

Google Fixes Desktop Search Tool

Web application security leader Watchfire, today announced its security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in Google Desktop which could enable a malicious individual to achieve not only remote, persistent access to sensitive data, but in some conditions full system control.
Watchfire's security researchers have uncovered a new attack methodology that clearly emphasizes the danger of integration between desktop applications and Web based applications as an aperture for a malicious attacker to escalate his/her privileges by crossing from the Web environment to the desktop application environment. This outcome is the combined result of the integration between the Web site and Google Desktop, and Google Desktop's failure to properly encode output containing malicious or unexpected characters.
This attack, described in a new research paper describes how the malicious logic acts as a parasite, using JavaScript code to control Google Desktop functionality. While evading current information protection systems, such as anti-virus software and firewalls allowing the attacker to covertly hijack sensitive local information. (For example: Office documents, Media files, emails, in many cases, even deleted emails, chat sessions and files could be accessed.)