Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged security, python

Filters: security × python ×


Bleach, HTML sanitizer and auto-linker. HTML sanitisation is notoriously difficult to do correctly, but Bleach (a Python library) looks like an excellent effort. It uses the html5lib parsing library to deal with potentially malformed HTML, uses a whitelist rather than a blacklist and has a neat feature for auto-linking URLs that is aware of the DOM (so it won’t try to auto-link a URL that is already wrapped in a link element). It was written by the Mozilla team for addons.mozilla.org and support.mozilla.org so it should be production ready. # 25th October 2010, 1:32 pm

Timing attack in Google Keyczar library. An issue I also need to fix in the proposed Django signing code. If you’re comparing two strings in crypto (e.g. seeing if the provided signature matches the expected signature) you need to use a timing independent string comparison function or you risk leaking information. This kind of thing is exactly why I want an audited signing module in Django rather than leaving developers to figure it out on their own. # 4th January 2010, 3:23 pm

Design and code review requested for Django string signing / signed cookies. Do you know your way around web app security and cryptography (in particular signing things using hmac and sha1)? We’d appreciate your help reviewing the usage of these concepts in Django’s proposed string signing and signed cookie implementations. # 4th January 2010, 1:24 pm

Django security updates released. A potential denial of service vulnerability has been discovered in the regular expressions used by Django form library’s EmailField and URLField—a malicious input could trigger a pathological performance. Patches (and patched releases) for Django 1.1 and Django 1.0 have been published. # 10th October 2009, 12:24 am

Django ponies: Proposals for Django 1.2

I’ve decided to step up my involvement in Django development in the run-up to Django 1.2, so I’m currently going through several years worth of accumulated pony requests figuring out which ones are worth advocating for. I’m also ensuring I have the code to back them up—my innocent AutoEscaping proposal a few years ago resulted in an enormous amount of work by Malcolm and I don’t think he’d appreciate a repeat performance.

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Why Python Pickle is Insecure. Because pickle is essentially a stack-based interpreter, so you can put os.system on the stack and use it to execute arbitrary commands. # 9th September 2009, 11:04 pm

Django: Security updates released. A fix for a directory traversal attack in the Django development server (the one with the big “never run this in production” warnings in the documentation). Also reminds that the release of 1.1 means that 0.96, released over two years ago, has reached end of life and will not receive any further bug fixes after the just-released 0.96.4. # 29th July 2009, 1:45 pm

Rate limiting with memcached

On Monday, several high profile “celebrity” Twitter accounts started spouting nonsense, the victims of stolen passwords. Wired has the full story—someone ran a dictionary attack against a Twitter staff member, discovered their password and used Twitter’s admin tools to reset the passwords on the accounts they wanted to steal.

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Django snippets: Sign a string using SHA1, then shrink it using url-safe base65. I needed a way to create tamper-proof URLs and cookies by signing them, but didn’t want the overhead of a full 40 character SHA1 hash. After some experimentation, it turns out you can knock a 40 char hash down to 27 characters by encoding it using a custom base65 encoding which only uses URL-safe characters. # 27th August 2008, 10:18 pm

Changeset 8162. “Implemented a secure password reset form that uses a token and prompts user for new password”—also sneaks base36 encoding and decoding in to Django. # 31st July 2008, 10:54 pm

IPy. Handy Python module for manipulating IP addresses—use IP(ip_addr).iptype() == ’PUBLIC’ to check that an address isn’t in a private address range. # 24th December 2007, 1:19 pm

Django Changeset 6671. Malcolm Tredinnick: “Implemented auto-escaping of variable output in templates”. Fantastic—Django now has protection against accidental XSS holes, turned on by default. # 14th November 2007, 5:05 pm

Django security fix released. Django’s internationalisation system has a denial of service hole in it; you’re vulnerable if you are using the i18n middleware. Fixes have been made available for trunk, 0.96, 0.95 and 0.91. # 26th October 2007, 9:47 pm

Two months with Ruby on Rails. Good rant—covers both the good and the bad. The first complaint is the lack of XSS protection by default in the template language. Django has the same problem, but the solution was 90% there when I saw Malcolm at OSCON. # 9th October 2007, 12:23 pm