Vulnerability in Official Vatican News Site Allows Hacker to Declare God an Onion

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A security lapse within the official website of the Vatican city allowed someone to post whatever they wanted as news. The official news publication with the Vatican was discovered by independent researcher Inti De Ceukelaire. As proof, he tweeted images of Vatican News falsely proclaiming that Pope Francis had declared God to become an onion.

GOD = AALSTENAAR. Niet mijn woorden, die van de paus. Merci, @Pontifex! ? ? LINK: https://t.co/GbOQrr2NJg (1/2) pic.twitter.com/FsvVeniycg

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— Inti De Ceukelaire (@intidc) February 8, 2018

This is, in no way, De Ceuklaire’s first rodeo. He’s been the cause of exposing several security breaches prior to now. A few months ago, he were able to gain access to several companies through their helpdesk by exploiting a vulnerability in Slack.

Unpatched XSS vulnerability seen to be why it\’s happening.

De Ceukelaire encountered an unpatched cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability and exploited it. XSS is when an assailant injects their own personal code right webpage. The code gets rendered from the user\’s browser which enable it to modify the appearance associated with a page, or introduce undesired behavior.

XSS vulnerabilities are a couple of types; reflected and stored. With stored XSS vulnerabilities, they\’re often saved on compromised databases. Hence, each and every time the infected page is viewed, the malicious script is transmitted towards victim’s browser. Stored XSS attacks are relatively harder to try and do due to the difficulties in locating both a trafficked website the other with vulnerabilities that allows permanent script embedding.

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Reflected XSS attacks, also referred to as non-persistent attacks, occur whenever a malicious script is reflected off all a web application to your victim’s browser. The script is activated via a link, which sends a request to a website with a vulnerability that enables execution of malicious scripts. The web link is embedded within a key phrases that provokes the consumer to check out it, which initiates the XSS request to an exploited website, reflecting the attack here we are at the consumer.

In the truth of Vatican News, De Ceukelaire found a reflected vulnerability. Although the issue continuously exist, no permanent damage has become done, yet. Your content has become scrubbed with the website, even so the risk of just one more looking perhaps there is.

De Ceukelaire warned Vatican News with regards to the issue on several occasions.

It is typical practice among security researchers to comply with ethical disclosure practices. This would mean that researchers give vendors and websites a practical probability to fix troubles before they\’re published. Unfortunately, the publication neglected to acknowledge the matter, forcing him to disclose it. De Ceukelaire made a decision to disclose the challenge to his Twitter account to his followers.

Although the hack is no more than a friendly prank, it highlights glaring flaws while in the website’s security. It starts up possibilities if you are to pass a off their content as ‘news,’ additionally, the very last thing we really wish for is fake news developed in a basement featured about the official Vatican News website.

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