Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-462: Cross-Domain Search Timing (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-462: Cross-Domain Search Timing

Attack Pattern ID: 462
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker initiates cross domain HTTP / GET requests and times the server responses. The timing of these responses may leak important information on what is happening on the server. Browser's same origin policy prevents the attacker from directly reading the server responses (in the absence of any other weaknesses), but does not prevent the attacker from timing the responses to requests that the attacker issued cross domain. For GET requests an attacker could for instance leverage the "img" tag in conjunction with "onload() / onerror()" javascript events. For the POST requests, an attacker could leverage the "iframe" element and leverage the "onload()" event. There is nothing in the current browser security model that prevents an attacker to use these methods to time responses to the attackers' cross domain requests. The timing for these responses leaks information. For instance, if a victim has an active session with their online e-mail account, an attacker could issue search requests in the victim's mailbox. While the attacker is not able to view the responses, based on the timings of the responses, the attacker could ask yes / no questions as to the content of victim's e-mails, who the victim e-mailed, when, etc. This is but one example; There are other scenarios where an attacker could infer potentially sensitive information from cross domain requests by timing the responses while asking the right questions that leak information.
+ Typical Severity

Medium

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.54Query System for Information
+ Prerequisites
Ability to issue GET / POST requests cross domainJava Script is enabled in the victim's browserThe victim has an active session with the site from which the attacker would like to receive informationThe victim's site does not protect search functionality with cross site request forgery (CSRF) protection
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Some knowledge of Java Script
+ Resources Required
Ability to issue GET / POST requests cross domain
+ Mitigations

Design: The victim's site could protect all potentially sensitive functionality (e.g. search functions) with cross site request forgery (CSRF) protection and not perform any work on behalf of forged requests

Design: The browser's security model could be fixed to not leak timing information for cross domain requests

+ References
[REF-399] Chris Evans. "Cross-Domain Search Timing". 2009-12-11. <http://scarybeastsecurity.blogspot.com/2009/12/cross-domain-search-timing.html>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2017-01-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018