AOH :: HP Unsorted B :: BX2561.HTM

Blackboard Academic Suite Multiple XSS Vulnerabilities
Blackboard Academic Suite Multiple XSS Vulnerabilities
Blackboard Academic Suite Multiple XSS Vulnerabilities

//The full version of this report (in pdf format) available at my blog:
// OR :

Blackboard Academic Suites Multiple Cross Site Scripting Vulnerabilities

Blackboard Academic Suite Blackboard is an enterprise software solution for providing interactive learning and management capabilities for educational institutions.
Many institutions currently are using Blackboard such as: Princeton, Yale, Duke University of Pennsylvania, and University of Texas at Austin =85

Platforms Affected:
All versions (7.x and lower)

Description: Combining XSS and some conditions already exists in Blackboard system.
Attacker can login and do everything (change grades, edit online test=92s content=85) with instructors=92 identity.

Vulnerable paths:

2/Add announcement page: (instructor access only)

alert(=91worm activated!=92)=94 />

Author: Duong Thanh - Knight4vn
(knightvn (at) or knight4vn (at) )

Vulnerabilities discovered: 12/2007

Vendor and Universities Contacted: 02/2008

Public disclosure: 03/2008

When user already has session and he/she clicks on that link (from email), the exploit code will be automatically executed. User=92s email address is changed without his/her notice. At the same time, his/her current email address, first and last name, and current encrypted password (in User Information page) is logged by a remote server side script.

The attacker reads all these information in a log file.
After that, he gets a new user password sent to his email address by using Lost Password form.
With victim=92s username and password, the attacker has full permission on that account and does whatever he wants.
Upon finishing his works, he changes back user=92s initial email address and encrypted password.

Although we can change victim=92s password by using exploit code but we should not use it. The victim can not login to the system and he/she immediately realize there is something fishy.

Edit Personal Info page:

Blackboard stores encrypted user password in Edit Personal Info page:

Hence, we have no problem with grabbing current user=92s encrypted password.

On this page:
Blackboard calls a function in =91/javascript/md5.js=92 to encrypt password on client side before submitting this form to =91/webapps/blackboard/execute/editUser=92. So it=92s possible to submit directly encrypted password to the server side script. Therefore, we take advantage of this to bring victim=92s encrypted password back to its initial state.
As a result, victim=92s account was compromised completely without his/her awareness.



Just imagine what would happen if someone took advantage of these holes to create a javascript-based worm? Think about this scenario for a second:
A black-hat guy wrote a worm and he send it to a person (for ex: an instructor).
The instructor immediately gets infected. The worm uses his identity to spread by sending itself to all student current enrolling his courses. Students get infected; the worm once again uses their identity to send itself to all their classmates and their other instructors=85 Combination of multiple XSS vulnerabilities make the worm spread very fast.
During its propagation, the worm could log all private users info (emails, names, grades=85) then report back to the attacker (for spamming purposes), or it could simply do whatever the attacker wants with user account.

Blackboard does not filter on title of Announcement

alert(=91worm activated!=92)=94 />

So we can take advantage of this persistent XSS to inject arbitrary script on the web page.
The announcement will be posted on the front page. So once students log in
The malicious script will have to be run at least one time.

Students spread this worm by sending the infected link to their classmates
and his other instructors via Send mail form of Blackboard.
Here is what a student will be forced to send in the email.

Encoded Version:
I don=92t understand today online assignment. Would you mind helping me out?

Proof-Of-Concept: worm.js

Worm Features:
Log all user info and send them to the attacker.
Propanagate by Send mail form and create announcements with hidden malicious script.

It is possible for hackers to silently steal instructor=92s password and change his grade. In worst case, he could use XSS worm to take the entire system down (MySpace=92s case). The consequence is foreseeable.

The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2015 AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an email address, please forward it with full headers to