10 Quick Facts About XSS Viruses and Worms: What You Need to Know

XSS Outbreaks:

1. Are likely to originate on popular websites with community-driven features such as social networking, blogs, user reviews, message boards, chat rooms, Web mail, and wikis.

2. Can occur at any time because the vulnerability (Cross-Site Scripting) required for propagation exists in over 80% of all websites.

3 Are capable of propagating faster and cleaner than even the most notorious worms such as Code Red, Slammer and Blaster.

4. Could create a Web browser botnet enabling massive DDoS attacks. The potential also exists to damage data, send spam, or defraud customers.

5. Maintain operating system independence (Windows, Linux, Macintosh OS X, etc.), since execution occurs in the Web browser.

6. Circumvent network congestion by propagating in a Web server-to-Web browser (client-server) model rather than a typical blind peer-to-peer model.

7. Do not rely on Web browser or operating system vulnerabilities.

8. May propagate by utilizing third-party providers of Web page widgets (advertising banners, weather and poll blocks, JavaScript RSS feeds, traffic counters, etc.).

9. Will be a challenge to spot because the network behavior of infected browsers remains relatively unchanged and the JavaScript exploit code is hard to distinguish from normal Web page markup.

10. Are easier to stop than traditional Internet viruses because denying access to the infectious website will quarantine the spread.

factsAndrew ChoeXSS, viruses, worms