New Method to Perform XS-Leak Side Channel Attacks Disclosed

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Luan Herrera, a cybersecurity expert committed to vulnerability reporting, detailed another approach to performing a side-channel assault variant known as XS-Leak abusing redirect hops to trigger a cross-site leak condition. Herrera’s research centers around the XS-Leaks group of side-channel assaults, equipped for abusing a browser to extricate conceivably sensitive data into the exposed system, including administrator credentials. XS-Leak assault strategies depend on measuring network reaction time to gather information about site visitors by abusing communication channels that permit sites to communicate with one another to recreate a client’s or system’s profile. 

The documents mention a “novel technique” for abusing a limitation in the Fetch specification, a way that permits sites to call resources: “A limit of 20 redirect hops is set before a network error message appears; because of this limit, threat actors could count the number of redirect hops that occur in a cross-origin redirect by activating the redirect before reaching the victim’s endpoint, measuring network responses, and partially exposing the size of the URL list,” the report says. 
The expert additionally detailed a few different ways to detect and forestall these cross-redirects that can prompt a side-channel assault, including the utilization of SameSite cookies, COOP and frame protections. Google is likewise aware of this issue, so measures such as confining some chrome-accessible websites have just been announced to reduce the amount of data exposed in a potential side-channel assault. 
Herrera concurs that this assault can be forestalled in the same way that similar assault variations are forestalled, although he believes that a holistic perspective on the issue is required: “A comprehensive view of the problem is still being discussed on GitHub about whether it is possible to change the Fetch specification and the limit value in order to prevent the appearance of these attack variants,” adds the researcher. 
The report also incorporates the results of a challenge to deploy an XSS assault utilizing JavaScript code. A Google security expert known as “terjanq” also directed an investigation concerning the XS-Leak family of assaults, describing the launch of a cache polling assault against a small group of Google products, which could deploy a leak of sensitive data.

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