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BugBlog

BugBlog Bug of the Month

Every month the BugBlog picks its Bug of the Month, representing the most significant bug found in the past month. Sometimes, the bug will be the one which could potentially cause the most damage; sometimes it will be the bug which affects the most users. And sometimes, it will be the bug that is just the most interesting bug. This bug will be selected either from the free Bug of the Day, or from the subscription-only BugBlog Plus.

This month the Bug of the Month goes to Yahoo! for the bug in the 6/15 BugBlog:

A bug that affects Yahoo! Mail has been patched. According to security researchers, all you needed to do was view the infected email in the Yahoo! mail window, and some JavaScript would run. You did not need to open an attachment. The email itself would have the subject line of "[random word] New Graphic site", and this particular attack has been named Yamanner by the AV companies. See an early report at http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?storyid=1398 and some post-patch analysis at http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/06/yahoo_mail_expo.html. In any event, it's probably safe to look at your Yahoo! Mail again. (Good thing I opened that Gmail account.)

Why this bug? This bug earns Bug of the Month status because of how easy it was triggered. You didn't need to open an attachment -- all you had to do was preview the message in the Yahoo! Mail window, and some embedded JavaScript would run and harvest email addresses and send out more messages. That made this bug especially dangerous. The flaw was in the way that this Ajax JavaScript application designed by Yahoo! didn't do validation checks.

The good thing was that users didn't have to implement a fix. Since this was a hosted application, Yahoo! could implement the fix themselves.

Previous Bugs of the Month

June 2006: Symantec Enterprise AV

May 2006: Microsoft Wins Special Lifetime Achievement Bug Award

April 2006: Adobe Macromedia Flash Player

March 2006: Microsoft Windows Media Player

Feb 2006: Apple QuickTime

Jan 2006: Microsoft WMF Bug

Dec 2005: Sony's Secret DRM Scheme Leaves Users Exposed

November 2005: Four Separate Bugs Leave Windows Open to Takeover

October 2005: Acrobat Screws Up MS Word

September 2005: Apple Security Update Breaks 64-bit Apps

August 2005: Cisco IOS Vulnerable to IPv6 bug

July 2005: RealNetworks Fixes Four Bugs in Their Media Player

June 2005: Flawed Rollout for Netscape 8

May 2005: TCP/IP Fix for Windows

April 2005: Denial of Service against Symantec Norton AntiVirus

March 2005: IDN Spoofing Bug

February 2005: Windows Animated Cursor Bug

January 2005: Windows Firewall Problems with Dial-up connections

The Bug of the Month is also posted at Blogcritics.org