Tried, Tested and Proven

Security Advisory 09-003 – Form Spoofing In Konqueror

Vulnerability Title:

Form Spoofing In Konqueror Enables Kwallet Stored Credential Theft.

Vulnerable System:


Vulnerability discovery and development:

Portcullis Security Testing Services

Credit for Discovery:

Tim Brown – Portcullis Computer Security Ltd.

Affected Systems:

All known versions of KDE; the vulnerability discovered was for version 3.5.7


It is possible for an attacker to create hidden spoofed forms within a web application such that Konqueror will populate form elements with data held in KWallet and then submit them to an a remote web server in a similar manner to that described in CVE-2006-6077 which affected Firefox.

Whilst it is acknowledged that such an attack requires an attacker to have control of content on a web site trusted by Konqueror, it is arguable that Konqueror should make attempts to check both the source and destination URLs when populating pages and should not populate form elements that will not be displayed to the user.


An attacker would be able to use this to retrieve a users credentials from KWallet on a visitors computers.


The proof of concept exploit code is available

Vendor Status:

10/07/2007 – Vendors sent copy of an initial paper “Kreating HavoK”

12/07/2007 – Trolltech & KDE respond

16/07/2007 – Trolltech issue patch for format string vulnerability (CVE-2007-3388) identified in paper

19/07/2007 – Trolltech provide update on their response

27/07/2007 – Trolltech publish their advisory

Throughout 2007, further discussions are held between Portullis and KDE via IRC but due to work on KDE 4.x no resolutions are forthcoming. Portcullis agree to hold back until such time as KDE can reasonably respond.

20/12/2008 – Due to the extended period of non-disclosure, in late 2008 Portcullis decide to resubmit the problems as a series of advisories

18/02/2009 – Portcullis contact oCERT and KDE asking for help from oCERT to coordinate disclosure

05/03/2009 – oCERT & KDE respond asking for proof of concepts

Portcullis provide proof of concept exploits and discuss the issue in depth with representatives of KDE and oCERT via IRC and email. KDE confirm that they have fixed the input sanitisation problems and have improved the sandbox that is applied to JavaScript to prevent the XMLHttpRequest object being called by resources not exposed over HTTP or WebDAV to prevent the same origin policy violation.

04/11/2009 – Advisory published. Portcullis would like to thank Richard Moore and David Faure from KDE and Andrea Barisani from oCERT


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