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Critical Vulnerabilities Allowed Account Takeover recently patched several vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to take control of a user’s account.

Security researchers discovered recently that the online travel agency was impacted by serious vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to take complete control of a user’s account.

The issues were identified by API security firm Salt Security and reported to in early December 2022. Patches were rolled out in the next few weeks and Salt Security disclosed technical details on Thursday.

The vulnerabilities found by Salt Security researchers centered around the way implemented OAuth, the authorization standard used by many online services to allow customers to sign in with their Google or Facebook accounts.

In the case of, the flaws were related to the OAuth integration with Facebook. An attacker could have exploited these weaknesses to take complete control of a user’s account, obtain their personal information from their Booking account, and perform actions on the victim’s behalf, such as canceling or booking reservations and ordering transportation services.

The issue also impacted sister website, which allows users to log in using their Booking account. 

In order to exploit these vulnerabilities, an attacker would have needed to trick the targeted user into clicking on a specially crafted link. This would allow the hacker to capture a logged-in user’s authentication code for by abusing the OAuth login mechanism. 

The attacker would then need to access their own account from a mobile application. However, in the authentication request sent by the mobile app to the Booking server, they needed to replace their own code with the victim’s code. This would give them full access to the victim’s account. 

Salt Security believes millions of users may have been exposed to potential attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities. 

The security firm has made a video showing the exploit in action:

Related: Critical Account Takeover Vulnerability Patched in GitLab Enterprise Edition

Related: Multi-Factor Authentication Bypass Led to Box Account Takeover

Related: Facebook Pays Out $40,000 for Account Takeover Exploit Chain

Written By

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.

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