Thursday, August 20, 2009

Facebook CSRF attack - Full Disclosure

This post is the technical full disclosure of the exploit I reported here. The original post includes a demo video and a description of the attack. Please view it first as it is not redescribed here.
I intended this post to be understandable by anyone with a modest understanding of how the web works, not just security experts. So give it a try.

I'll begin with an outline of how a Facebook application works. Then I'll explain the vulnerability (that's the security hole), and finally, I'll detail the demonstrated exploit (that's what you can actually do with the hole).

How a Facebook App works
Anyone can create an application (or app) that will run within the Facebook platform (and many do!). An app is like a regular website with the aditional benifits of the social network Facebook provides (such as friends, profiles boxes, walls etc).
Technically, a Facebook app is just like a website: its mounted on a normal web sever and serves content to HTTP requests. The difference is that while a normal website receives requests directly from its users, an app has the Facebook platform as a middle man, between the user and the application.

More info

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