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From: Nick FitzGerald (nickvirus-l.demon.co.uk)
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 17:00:10 CST
Chris Evans to me:
> By this definition of yours, DoS is fundamentally built in to browsers
> (by way of simply following specifications) -- even those with decent
> privsep models.
Factually, probably so but that says more about our s/w development
methods and what has (historically) passed as "acceptable" in that arena.
Browsers could reasonably implement various kinds of resource expenditure
limitations, but few, if any, do OOTB (FF 2.x I think added some basic
"this script is taking too long" controls, but there is a lot more that
could be done).
Is that specification antagonistic? Arguably yes because the
specifications don't say "... to N levels of recursion" and such.
But maybe that tells us an awful lot about the specifications and the
culture of the folk who wrote them?
Yep -- they came from that "she'll be right" s/w dev background that is
responsible for most of the crap that means we're assured of jobs for
life (well, if you're as old as me anyway!).
> Web security IS fundamentally broken at the foundations, so I'm not
> going to disagree with you.
> It raises the question: DoS is an overloaded term, ...
DoS is not an overloaded term -- it means pretty much what it says, as
Thierry pointed out.
Yes, a lot of noobs and journalists confuse it with _D_DoS and its usual,
deliberate "with malicious intent" connotation, but that might just be an
> ... perhaps it should
> be reserved for cases that actually have real-world significance? Or
> is a new term required?
How do we operationally define "real-world significance"?
That was my original point -- this is a DoS
Whether it's "worthy" of discussion here or not is a different issue that
touches precisely on the issue of defining "real-world significance".
There may be some subtle use for such a vuln that allows it to be
combined with one or more other "minor" vulns to make for a modestly
worrying attack, or there may not. Until that is found (probably by a
Black Hat because White Hats are so quick to dismiss things like this
with "it's only a trivial browser tab-closing DoS" and move on to sexier
sounding bugs) this may be ignored because no-one deems it "worthy",
extending the long, sad history of quality neglect in s/w development.
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