First defined in 1998, the iCalendar standard remains ubiquitous in enterprise software. However, it did not account for modern security concerns and allowed vendors to create proprietary extensions that expanded the format’s attack surface. I demonstrate how flawed RFC implementations led to vulnerabilities in popular enterprise applications. Attackers can trigger exploits remotely with zero user interaction due to automatic parsing of event invitations. Furthermore, I explain how iCalendar’s integrations with the SMTP and CalDAV protocols enable multi-stage attacks. Despite attempts to secure these technologies separately, the interactions that arise from features such as emailed event reminders require a “full-stack” approach to calendar security. I conclude that developers should strengthen existing iCalendar standards in both design and implementation.
While browsing a SharePoint instance recently, I came across an interesting URL. The page itself displayed a web form that submitted data to SharePoint. Intrigued by the .xsn extension, I downloaded the file and started investigating what turned out to be Microsoft InfoPath’s template format. Along the way, I discovered parts of the specification that enabled loading remote payloads, bypassing warning dialogs, and other interesting behaviour.
DOM-based Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities rank as one of my favourite vulnerabilities to exploit. It’s a bit like solving a puzzle; sometimes you get a corner piece like $.html(), other times you have to rely on trial-and-error. I recently encountered two interesting postMessage DOM XSS vulnerabilities in bug bounty programs that scratched my puzzle-solving itch.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy new year!
From 29 October to 14 November 2021, the Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies (CSIT) ran The InfoSecurity Challenge (TISC), an individual competition consisting of 10 levels that tested participants’ cybersecurity and programming skills. I took away important lessons for both CTFs and day-to-day red teaming that I hope others will find useful as well. What distinguished TISC from typical CTFs was its dual emphasis on hacking AND programming - rather than exploiting a single vulnerability, I often needed to automate exploits thousands of times. You’ll see what I mean soon.