PayPal fixes merchant account hijacking bug

Have you read the latest issue of our digital (IN)SECURE Magazine? If not, do it now.

Well-known and prolific bug hunter Mark Litchfield has unearthed a pretty big flaw in PayPal Manager, which would allow attackers to hijack a merchants’ account by changing their password, and consequently have access to their and their customers’ personal information as well as being able to place orders from it.

Personal account holders can sigh a sigh of relief, as the bug doesn’t affect them.

PayPal Manager is used by merchants to manage their Payflow accounts and, according to Litchfield, PayPal had gone to considerable lengths to ensure the security of this portal.

Still, he has managed to bypass several security features, as detailed in a PDF published on his firm’s website.

“From start to finish an attack would average around 3 minutes,” he says, but of course, this information being public means that PayPal has already patched the vulnerability.

According to The Register, he has informed PayPal of the existence of the flaw on 10 May, and they have promptly fixed it the day after.

His discovery is sure to fall within the scope of PayPal’s Bug Bounty Program, but the exact amount he will be awarded has still not been defined.