Securing Script-Based Extensibility in Web Browsers

10 years 4 months ago
Securing Script-Based Extensibility in Web Browsers
Web browsers are increasingly designed to be extensible to keep up with the Web's rapid pace of change. This extensibility is typically implemented using script-based extensions. Script extensions have access to sensitive browser APIs and content from untrusted web pages. Unfortunately, this powerful combination creates the threat of privilege escalation attacks that grant web page scripts the full privileges of extensions and control over the entire browser process. This paper makes two contributions. First, it describes the pitfalls of script-based extensibility based on our study of the Firefox web browser. We find that script-based extensions can lead to arbitrary code injection and execution control, the same types of vulnerabilities found in unsafe code. Second, we propose a taint-based system to track the spread of untrusted data in the browser and to detect the characteristic signatures of privilege escalation attacks. We evaluate this approach by using exploits from the ...
Vladan Djeric, Ashvin Goel
Added 15 Feb 2011
Updated 15 Feb 2011
Type Journal
Year 2010
Where USS
Authors Vladan Djeric, Ashvin Goel
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