Security company says Nasdaq waited two weeks to fix XSS flaw

The flaw could have been used to elicit personal details from the website's users

A Swiss security company said the Nasdaq website had a serious cross-site scripting vulnerability for two weeks before being fixed on Monday despite earlier warnings.

A Swiss security company said the Nasdaq website had a serious cross-site scripting vulnerability for two weeks before being fixed on Monday despite earlier warnings.

A Swiss security company said the Nasdaq website had a serious cross-site scripting vulnerability for two weeks before being fixed on Monday, despite earlier warnings.

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of the Geneva-based penetration testing company High-Tech Bridge, said he repeatedly emailed Nasdaq and warned of the XSS flaw.

"I can basically say I have spammed them," Kolochenko said in an interview.

A Nasdaq spokesman did not have immediate comment. Nasdaq.com lets users create accounts and build a profile to monitor stocks and news.

Cross-site scripting is an attack on a website in which a script drawn from another site is allowed to run that shouldn't. The attack can be used to steal information or potentially cause other malicious code to run.

Kolochenko said the flaw could have been used by an attacker in several ways, including stealing users' browser histories and their cookies. It could also have been used to inject HTML into a Web page and ask for people's personal details, a request that would appear to come from Nasdaq.

In another kind of attack, Kolochenko said the XSS flaw could be used to plant a link within the Nasdaq site to a malicious website.

Kolochenko said XSS flaws are common, and he has found ones in websites belonging to the BBC, Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Those organizations acknowledged the issues, but it was often a month or so before the websites were fixed, he said.

He found the Nasdaq flaw after noticing some suspicious URLs and conducting a harmless test. At that point, he stopped probing the website and notified Nasdaq by email on their support, abuse and security addresses.

"I didn't want to take it further," he said.

Nasdaq's trading halted on Aug. 22 after a technical problem with a core data feed that distributes market data for securities listed on its exchange. A connectivity issue degraded the ability of the Securities Industry Processor (SP) system to consolidate and disseminate quote and trade information on Nasdaq listed securities.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NasdaqExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?