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[ISN] Teen finds bugs in Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft code


By Elinor Mills
InSecurity Complex
CNet News
February 2, 2012

When he's not at school, 15-year-old Cim Stordal spends his time playing the Team Fortress video game, shooting his Airsoft pellet gun, and working in a fish shop in Bergen, Norway. But his real passion is finding bugs in software used by millions of people on the Internet.

Stordal has made the Google Security Hall of Fame, been credited with disclosing a cross-site scripting bug to Apple, been thanked by Microsoft for disclosing a vulnerability to the company, and received an elite White Hat Visa card from Facebook with $500 credit on it.

"I got a card for a self-persistent XSS [cross-site scripting flaw] at Facebook, and a nonpersistent XSS at Google, Microsoft, and Apple," he said in a recent Skype interview with CNET. (As a "self-persistent" issue, the bug Stordal disclosed was not exploitable by a third-party because it required a user to take an action to be at risk, according to Facebook.)

"I just look around at the site and find out where I can input HTML and stuff and it's not filtered in the source code. Often they filter some characters but forget some or they totally forget that input," he said. "What an attacker wants is often the cookie, which can be used to log-in as the user."


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