CNN Cross Site Scripting / Open Redirect

Type packetstorm
Reporter Jing Wang
Modified 2014-12-29T00:00:00


                                            `*CNN <> XSS and  
<> Open Redirect Security Vulnerability*  
"CNN is sometimes referred to as CNN/U.S. to distinguish the American  
channel from its international sister network, CNN International. As of  
August 2010, CNN is available in over 100 million U.S. households.  
Broadcast coverage of the U.S. channel extends to over 890,000 American  
hotel rooms, as well as carriage on cable and satellite providers  
throughout Canada. Globally, CNN programming airs through CNN  
International, which can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and  
territories." (Wikipedia)  
"As of August 2013, CNN is available to approximately 98,496,000 cable,  
satellite and telco television households (86% of households with at least  
one television set) in the United States." (Wikipedia)  
*Vulnerability Description:*  
CNN has a security problem. It cab be exploited by XSS (Cross Site  
Scripting) and Open Redirect attacks.  
Based on news published, CNN users were hacked based on both Open Redirect  
and XSS vulnerabilities.  
According to E Hacker News on June 06, 2013, "(@BreakTheSec) came across a  
diet spam campaign that leverages the open redirect vulnerability in one of  
the top News organization CNN."  
After the attack, CNN takes measures to detect Open Redirect  
vulnerabilities. The measure is quite good. Almost no links are vulnerable  
to Open Redirect attack on CNN's website, now. It takes long time to find a  
new Open Redirect vulnerability that is un-patched on its website. was hacked by Open Redirect in 2013. While the XSS attacks happened  
in 2007.  
*<1>* "The tweet apparently shows cyber criminals managed to leverage the  
open redirect security flaw in the CNN to redirect twitter users to the  
Diet spam websites." (E Hacker News)  
At the same time, the cybercriminals have also leveraged a similar  
vulnerability in a Yahoo domain to trick users into thinking that the links  
point to a trusted website.  
Yahoo Open Redirect Vulnerabilities:  
*<2>* XSS hacked  
*(1) CNN ( <>) Travel-City Related Links XSS (cross  
site scripting) Security Vulnerabilities*  
*Vulnerability Description:*  
The vulnerabilities occur at "" pages. All  
links under this URL are vulnerable to XSS attacks, e.g  
The vulnerability can be exploited without user login. Tests were performed  
on Firefox (34.0) in Ubuntu (14.04) and IE (9.0.15) in Windows 7.  
*Poc Code:*' /"><img src=x  
onerror=prompt(/justqdjing/)>' /"><img src=x  
*(1.1) Poc Video:*  
*Blog Details:*  
*(2) CNN <> ADS Open Redirect Security Vulnerability *  
*Vulnerability Description:*  
The vulnerability occurs at "" page with  
"&Redirect" parameter, i.e.  
The vulnerability can be attacked without user login. Tests were performed  
on Chrome 32 in Windows 8 and Safari 6.16 in Mac OS X v10.7.  
*(2.1)* Use the following tests to illustrate the scenario painted above.  
The redirected webpage address is "". Suppose  
that this webpage is malicious.  
*Vulnerable URL:*  
*Poc Code:*  
*(2.1) Poc Video:*  
*Blog Detail:*  
Those vulnerabilities were reported to CNN in early July by Contact  
information from Here.  
Reported by:  
Wang Jing, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang  
Technological University, Singapore.  
*Blog Details:*  
Wang Jing  
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS)  
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore