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OpenX Addresses New Security Flaws with Latest Update

OpenX, the open source ad serving platform, patched two flaws last week, after they were discovered by Geneva, Switzerland’s High-Tech Bridge. The platform has had several issues before, and is a favorite target of criminals operating using malvertising as an attack vector.

According to the High-Tech Bridge advisory, OpenX patched two flaws in the final days of June. The first was a file inclusion vulnerability, which if the attacker has administrative privileges, can be used to access stored files such as the webservers /etc/passwd file.

“Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities requires administrative privileges, however they can also be exploited by a remote non-authenticated attacker via CSRF vector, since the application is prone to Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks. In order to do so an attacker should trick logged-in OpenX administrator to open a specially crafted web page with CSRF exploit code,” the advisory explains. 

The second flaw, a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) issue, exists due to poor input filtering in the package parameter used by the plugin-index.php script. A second XSS flaw exists for the same reason within plugin-settings.php.

OpenX was forced to close OnRamp earlier this year, which was a free, self-service ad platform used some of the Web’s most popular domains, after months of “escalating hacker activity,” the company said at the time.

In short, their statement said, “in an environment of increasingly sophisticated and powerful intrusions that exploit open source software” when combined with the amount of resources needed in order to keep the service afloat, OpenX felt it wasn’t worth the trouble and killed the free platform.

In March, OpenX was leveraged by attackers who used CSRF flaws to create administrator accounts and spread Rogue Anti-Virus software. A month later, the company promised to deliver fixes, but as it turns out, those fixes only patched some of the problem. Later releases were still plagued by bugs, as the latest High-Tech Bridge advisory demonstrates.   

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.