YouTube flaw allowed copying comments from one video to another

Google has fixed the flaw and paid a bug bounty

An Egypt-based security researcher said Google has fixed an interesting vulnerability he and a colleague found in YouTube.

Ahmed Aboul-Ela wrote on his blog that he and a fellow researcher, Ibrahim Mosaad, wanted to find a problem in a feature on YouTube "that not many bug hunters have tested."

They focused on a setting in YouTube that holds comments for review before they're published. If that feature is enabled, comments are then listed in a control panel labeled "held for review."

Aboul-Ela wrote he intercepted the http request that is sent to Google when a comment is approved. The request contains two parameters: "comment_id" and "video_id."

An error is returned if the video_id is changed to a different one, he wrote. But YouTube accepted changing the content_id number to a different video, which then caused the comment to get copied to that video.

"The original comment from the original video doesn't get removed, and the author of the comment does not get notified that his comment is copied onto another video," Aboul-Ela wrote.

The flaw could have been used in many ways. It could be used to make it appear that a video is more popular that it actually is. Or it could have been used to falsely make it appear a celebrity or public figure commented on something, Aboul-Ela wrote.

Google fixed the vulnerability within a week of being notified on March 25 and paid a US$3,133.70 bug bounty.

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

Read more: Google, Microsoft serve up security treats for productivity suites

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GooglesecurityExploits / 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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?