Security Experts:

Comodo Browser Breaks Security: Google Researcher

Google researcher Tavis Ormandy revealed on Tuesday that a web browser installed by default with Comodo’s Internet Security product disables web security instead of improving it.

Chromodo is a Chromium-based Internet browser advertised by Comodo as offering Chrome’s features plus “unparalleled levels of speed, security and privacy.” When it’s installed on a system, Chromodo is set as the default browser and it imports settings and cookies from Chrome.

In a bug report published on the Google Security Research site on January 21, Ormandy claimed to have discovered several “shady practices,” including that Chromodo hijacks DNS settings. However, the most serious issue the expert reported finding is that the browser disables the same origin policy (SOP), which means it effectively turns off all web security.

“The same origin policy is basically disabled for all of your customers, which means there is no security on the web....this is about as bad as it gets,” the researcher told Comodo.

SOP is an important web application security policy that prevents content loaded from one origin from interacting with a resource from another origin. If SOP is disabled, a script opened in one browser window can interact with other windows. For example, a malicious script can interact with an email account opened in a different window and conduct actions on the user’s behalf.

Ormandy also developed an exploit for the vulnerability, but complained about having a hard time reaching through to Comodo.

On Monday, Ormandy reported that Comodo had pushed out a hotfix to address the problem, but the expert found that the patch was superficial and was easy to bypass. Project Zero usually gives companies up to 90 days to patch reported vulnerabilities, but in this case the details of the issue were disclosed much sooner because Comodo released a patch.

Despite the fact that the patch is not efficient, Ormandy decided to change the status of the flaw to “fixed” and open a new bug report for the incorrect fix released by Comodo.

Ormandy reported finding several other issues as well, including that Comodo’s security products don’t enable ASLR in the scan process. The company reportedly told the Google researcher that patching the other vulnerabilities could take weeks.

Comodo has not responded to SecurityWeek’s request for comment by the time of publication.

Ormandy has analyzed several security products over the past months and found serious vulnerabilities in software developed by MalwarebytesTrend MicroKaspersky Lab, AVG, FireEye and Avast.

Related: Comodo Finds Misissued Certificates

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.