Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community Resource for Identifying and Understanding Attacks
An attacker is able to cause a victim to load content into their web-browser that bypasses security zone controls and gain access to increased privileges to execute scripting code or other web objects such as unsigned ActiveX controls or applets. This is a privilege elevation attack targeted at zone-based web-browser security. In a zone-based model, pages belong to one of a set of zones corresponding to the level of privilege assigned to that page. Pages in an untrusted zone would have a lesser level of access to the system and/or be restricted in the types of executable content it was allowed to invoke. In a cross-zone scripting attack, a page that should be assigned to a less privileged zone is granted the privileges of a more trusted zone. This can be accomplished by exploiting bugs in the browser, exploiting incorrect configuration in the zone controls, through a cross-site scripting attack that causes the attackers' content to be treated as coming from a more trusted page, or by leveraging some piece of system functionality that is accessible from both the trusted and less trusted zone. This attack differs from "Restful Privilege Escalation" in that the latter correlates to the inadequate securing of RESTful access methods (such as HTTP DELETE) on the server, while cross-zone scripting attacks the concept of security zones as implemented by a browser.
Attack Execution Flow
There was a cross zone scripting vulnerability discovered in Skype that allowed one user to upload a video with a maliciously crafted title that contains a script. Subsequently, when the victim attempts to use the "add video to chat" feature on attacker's video, the script embedded in the title of the video runs with local zone privileges. Skype is using IE web controls to render internal and external HTML pages. "Add video to chat" uses these web controls and they are running in the Local Zone. Any user who searched for the video in Skype with the same keywords as in the title field, would have the attackers' code executing in their browser with local zone privileges to their host machine (e.g. applications on the victim's host system could be executed).
Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium
Ability to craft malicious scripts or find them elsewhere and ability to identify functionality that is running web controls in the local zone and to find an injection vector into that functionality
Disable script execution.
Ensure that sufficient input validation is performed for any potentially untrusted data before it is used in any privileged context or zone
Limit the flow of untrusted data into the privileged areas of the system that run in the higher trust zone
Limit the sites that are being added to the local machine zone and restrict the privileges of the code running in that zone to the bare minimum
Ensure proper HTML output encoding before writing user supplied data to the page