What do British Airways, Newegg, and Ticketmaster have in common?
They were victims of cross-site scripting attacks that cost millions of dollars.
Content Security Policies (CSPs) were created to mitigate a specific type of web security threat known as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), which allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into web pages, compromising user information and sessions.
With a CSP, websites can define what content sources to trust and which ones to block, thus reducing XSS risks. However, the protective powers of a CSP extend far beyond XSS.
By leveraging a CSP to restrict third-party content sources, Marketing and Security/Compliance Teams can defend against:
But even with these benefits, less than ¼ of the top 1,000 most visited sites have adopted a CSP.
Many sites operate without a CSP because, so far, they've gotten lucky and haven't experienced a significant security breach or Magecart attack.
Unrestricted third-party content can lead to serious problems for your business and customers.
Look no further than these 3 high-profile stories from British Airways, Newegg, and Ticketmaster.
How a CSP Could Have Helped: By implementing a properly configured CSP, British Airways could have prevented XSS attacks, the same type of attack used in their breach. A CSP can specify which sources of content and scripts are allowed to run, effectively blocking unauthorized code from executing. With a CSP in place, the injected malicious script would have been stopped from compromising customer data.
In the same year as the British Airways breach, Newegg, a prominent online retailer, experienced a similar data breach. Hackers injected 8 lines of malicious code onto a page presented during the checkout process and appeared when moving to the billing page, resulting in the theft of customers' credit card information to a compromised domain. This scheme went unnoticed for nearly a month!
How a CSP Could Have Helped: A CSP is specifically designed to protect against this type of attack. Controlling the sources from which scripts can be loaded can prevent malicious scripts from executing and intercepting sensitive data during the transaction process.
Ticketmaster, a major ticket sales and distribution company, also fell prey to a massive credit card skimming operation in 2018. The company issued an alert after noticing malicious code on a customer support chatbot hosted by a third party, which was used to exfiltrate customer data, including payment information.
How a CSP Could Have Helped: Organizations can control third-party content on their websites by implementing a CSP. By defining and limiting the sources from which scripts can be loaded, Ticketmaster could have prevented the unauthorized injection of vulnerable code before it was placed and altered on the site, thereby safeguarding customer data.
The cases of British Airways, Newegg, and Ticketmaster highlight the significant impact of data breaches and the critical importance of implementing proactive security measures like a CSP. It's a powerful tool for preventing cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks commonly exploited in data breaches.
A well-configured CSP can help organizations defend against malicious script injections and maintain the integrity of their digital properties, ultimately safeguarding both their customers and their reputation. It's not just about security and compliance risk but fully owning the content, services, and experiences presented to your customers.
Read our new, ungated resource, The 2024 Ultimate Guide to CSP, to learn how to securely build, implement, and manage a CSP so you don't become the next headline.
By using a CSP to limit third-party content sources, Marketing and Security/Compliance Teams can defend against:
In recent years, several high-profile data breaches have highlighted the importance of implementing a Content Security Policy (CSP). British Airways, Newegg, and Ticketmaster suffered significant breaches that could have been prevented or mitigated using a properly configured CSP.
By controlling the sources of content and scripts that can run on a website, a CSP helps prevent unauthorized code from compromising customer data. These examples serve as a reminder of the importance of implementing robust security measures to protect sensitive information online.