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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Blackboard Vendors:   Blackboard
Blackboard Academic Suite Input Validation Holes Permit Cross-Site Scripting Attacks
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019710
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-1795   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Apr 18 2008
Original Entry Date:  Mar 26 2008
Impact:   Disclosure of authentication information, Disclosure of user information, Execution of arbitrary code via network, Modification of user information
Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 7.x and prior versions
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Blackboard Academic Suite. A remote user can conduct cross-site scripting attacks.

Several scripts do not properly filter HTML code from user-supplied input before displaying the input. A remote user can create a specially crafted URL that, when loaded by a target user, will cause arbitrary scripting code to be executed by the target user's browser. The code will originate from the site running the Blackboard software and will run in the security context of that site. As a result, the code will be able to access the target user's cookies (including authentication cookies), if any, associated with the site, access data recently submitted by the target user via web form to the site, or take actions on the site acting as the target user.

The 'searchText' parameter of the 'viewCatalog' script is affected.

The 'announcement' script is affected.

The vendor was notified on February 2008.

Duong Thanh (Knight4vn) reported this vulnerability.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A remote user can access the target user's cookies (including authentication cookies), if any, associated with the site running the Blackboard software, access data recently submitted by the target user via web form to the site, or take actions on the site acting as the target user.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Red Hat Enterprise), Linux (Red Hat Linux), UNIX (Solaris - SunOS), Windows (2000), Windows (2003)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  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

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

Description: Combining XSS and some conditions already exists in Blackboard system.

Vulnerable paths:

2/Add announcement page: (instructor access only)

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

Vulnerabilities discovered: 12/2007

Vendor and Universities Contacted: 02/2008

Public disclosure: 03/2008

 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.

 he/she immediately realize there is something fishy.

Edit Personal Info page:

Blackboard stores encrypted user password in Edit Personal Info page:

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="password" VALUE="CE0BFD15059B68D67688884D7A3D3E8C">

On this page:
 encrypted password back to its initial state.



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
 purposes), or it could simply do whatever the attacker wants with user account.

Blackboard does not filter on title of Announcement

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:

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.



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