AliExpress hacked – the entire story


As you may have heard it was recently advertised that AliExpress, one of the world’s largest online shopping websites, was found to have substantial security shortcomings. As one of the people who discovered the vulnerability, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the vulnerability I detected in this blog post.

A few months ago, I purchased a few items from the AliExpress website. After the purchase, I sent a message to the seller in order to ask him a question regarding the items. From my experience as an application security expert in AppSec Labs, I had suspected that it might be vulnerable to a certain security breach, and so I started to investigate the issue locally and without, of course, harming the system or its users.

After a short investigation, I had concluded that any buyer in the website can browse to any item and can send a message to the seller using the “Contact Now” feature; this feature can be abused by a malicious buyer who could send a message to the seller containing a malicious payload.
Read more

Protecting a Windows application from premature termination

Have you ever written a Windows app that works on a specific and very important task that must be completed, but then someone force-closes it?

One solution would be to send a request to the user that asks the user not to force-close the app. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually work.

There is a cool “trick” you can do to make sure no one will close that important app, or get a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death), that is unknown to most programmers. This cool trick is called NtSetInformationProcess.

Some OS (Operating System) processes, such as Csrss.exe (Client Server Runtime Process), are considered critical for the normal function of the OS and closing them would crash the system in order to avoid any abnormal behavior.
Read more

How to connect a real device to AppUse



In order to connect a real device you should do the following steps:

  1. Enable USB debugging mode:

a. Open your device’s “Settings.”
This can be done by pressing the Menu button while on your home screen and tapping “System Settings.”
b. Scroll to the bottom and tap “About phone.”
c. On the “About” screen, scroll to the bottom and tap on “Build number” seven times.
If you see the message “Not needed, you are already a developer!” pop up, then you know if the command succeeded.
Read more

ADB – Common commands

What is ADB (Android Debug Bridge)

The ADB shell is a bridge between your computer and the Android device, which may be a physical device or an emulator.


How to install ADB

ADB comes with Android SDK, but you can also find it alone. Inside the AppUse VM we have installed and prepared it for you.

Read more

SoapUI Code Execution Vulnerability – CVE-2014-1202

In this blog post I will discuss a vulnerability I’ve found in the SoapUI product before version 4.6.4 (CVE-2014-1202).

I discovered this vulnerability during a penetration test in which I saw that the SoapUI software allows the clients to execute a Java code on the local machine by putting a Java code inside the following tag:


The vulnerability allows the attacker to execute the java code on the victim’s machine, thereby putting in danger the SoapUI users, including developers, penetration testers, etc.

Read more

Resident XSS – Reflected Becomes Stored Thanks to HTML5

HTML5 is the newest version of the HTML. It offers new features that enhance support for creating web applications that can interact with the user and his/her local data and servers. HTML5 successfully does this more easily and effectively than has previously been possible.

In this article we will focus on the new client storage offered by HTML5. The new HTML provides us with the Local & Session Storage, which can hold  15MB and more of client data. The differences between them is that the Local Storage can be accessed from any window, while the Session Storage can by read/modified by the same window only. Additionally, the data within the Session Storage will be automatically deleted when the window is closed, whilst deletion of the data in the Local Storage must be done manually.

Let’s say that the web application stores your account number, the SessionId, username, and some other data that will be read later on in order to display the data without sending requests to the server. The website takes the data it previously entered to the storage and displays it when the page renders. This is how the page looks normally, along with the original information stored in the sessionStorage:

ScreenShot138(Click on the image to enlarge)

Notice that the message within the speech bubble takes its information from the Session Storage, as can be seen in the above image, right below the page. You can access the page’s Resources tab using Chrome’s Developer tools (a.k.a Inspect Element).

We can assume that the page’s code behind it looks something like this when retrieving the data from the Session Storage:
   var username = window.sessionStorage.getItem(“username”);
   var speech = window.sessionStorage.getItem(“Speech-of-the-day”);
   var action = window.sessionStorage.getItem(“Random-action”);

If this website is vulnerable to a Reflected XSS (which in the regular case would be executed once on the response that includes it) and if the website does not perform client-side encoding (escaping), then this Reflected XSS can become a Stored XSS.

Read more

The reason why your exploit does not work

This post will explain to you, why it is that in Java most of the command line injection vulnerabilities in most common cases could not be exploited with:

  • && dir
  • ; ls


There are two options for running a command:

  1. Send the whole command to the OS shell (CMD or /bin/sh) and let Java parse & run it.
  2. Split the words of the command into an array, execute the first word, and pass the rest as parameters.


The difference is when, for example, the command is:

Notepad.exe a.txt && dir

The first method will run both commands (open  Notepad with the file a.txt and, if it will succeed, run the command dir). The second method will pass the ‘&&’ and ‘dir’ as  parameters to the notepad.exe program. Therefore, ‘&&’ and ‘dir’ will not run.

This is also the difference between the ‘system’ function in C language which works as the first method, and ‘Runtime.exec’ function in Java which works with the second method.

Read more

X-Frame-Option is dead, long live Content Security Policy!

Clickjacking, (A.K.A UI Redress attack) is an attack in which an attacker utilizes multiple transparent or opaque layers in order to trick a client into clicking on a button or link on a different page; they are then mislead to think they were clicking the top level page link. Accordingly, the attacker is “hijacking” clicks meant for their page and routing them to the other, probably owned by another application and/or domain. With a carefully crafted combination of stylesheets, iframes, and text boxes, users can also be led to believe they are typing in the password to their own email or bank account,rather than typing into an invisible frame controlled by the attacker.

Existing anti-clickjacking measures include frame-busting codes and X-Frame-Options, yet it cannot be used to protect resources where the set of origins that ought to be permitted and denied is unknown, where attacks may originate from origins expected to be permitted by a use scenario, or defend against timing-based attacks which include multiple windows rather than multiple frames. Frame-busting scripts also rely on browser behavior that has not been designed to provide a security ensure. As a consequence, such scripts may be unreliable if loaded inside a sandbox or otherwise disabled.

Content Security Policy (CSP) is a declarative policy that lets a web application restrict the behavior of a document, e.g. the origins where it can load its resources from or the ways it can execute scripts. By controlling the presentation or the interactivity of a resource when its interacts with the user, it may be used  in an ambiguous or deceitful context due to the spatial and/or transient contiguity with other content displayed by the user agent.

Read more

Erez Metula is presenting at the International 2014 Cyber Security Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel

On January 16th, 2014, Erez will be giving an important presentation on Android Hacking in Mobile Application Security.

Full logistical details can be found here:


We’d love to see everyone there and we’re looking forward to the exchange of ideas. For now, take a look at the  Synopsis so you have an idea of what’s ahead!

 Synopsis of his upcoming speech:

The mobile apps revolution has completely changed the way we use our mobile devices, that up until  recently were used just to make phone calls. Mobile applications nowadays handle our most sensitive data –  phone calls, SMS text messages, geographic location, financial information, internet browsing, etc., but the  question is “How can we really tell how secure are those applications? Who can assure us they are not spying on  us? Or, can it be abused by other applications taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in those apps?”

During this presentation we will answer such questions, while focusing on Android mobile applications. We will  start by describing the threat model of mobile apps vs. traditional apps, then we’ll demonstrate a couple of  common application level vulnerabilities, and the tools/techniques used to expose them.

Participants of this presentation will also witness the usage of the AppUse Android Penetration Testing VM – an open source virtual machine created by AppSec Labs for the sole purpose of pentesting Android applications.


Getting to know our experts: Chilik Tamir

Over the last few years AppSec Labs has been building a strong reputation for excellence in the field of Application Security. We offer services including pen-testing and full code review. As we’ve grown we’ve increased our experience, branching not only from pen-testing, but to in-company training and e-learning. We’ve developed a product line in e-learning which we are selling world-wide, and we’re expanding our market.

So, it’s about time that we show you who we are and what motivates us to do what we do. This will be the start to a few blog interviews letting you (our community) get to know us (your community) BETTER. We hope you enjoy hearing more about us and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Keep in touch with us via Twitter and Facebook!


Author: Jessie A. Pincus, International Sales Director and Academic Director, AppSec Labs

Getting to Know our Experts:

Chilik Tamir, Chief Scientist, AppSec Labs

Question: How did you originally get into the field of Cyber Security?
Chilik: It was a hobby that became a job.  I saw the WarGames movie back in the 1980’s and it intrigued me.

Question: Since you focus your research on the Apple iOS platform, what do you see as its main vulnerabilities, and where has it improved or made changes to compensate?
Chilik: Apple is beginning to implement security features that are set to ‘ON’ as the default setting, instead of relying on developers to officially turn them on. The pairing notification message and the protection class encryption are enabled by default. Until iOS 7 they weren’t enabled by default.

Question: What aspect of the field of Cyber Security initially grabbed your attention and made you say “I want to work in that field.”?​

Read more