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Hacking GitHub: Unicode is no joke

Its use Unicode to create emoji as well as other simple symbols, did not give him the credit he deserves. The importance of understanding Unicode extends beyond its local adaptations and diversity, and its lack of understanding can lead to vulnerabilities in your code.


A lesser known incident is The σcollisions mapping of Unicode. Μk such conflict occurs when two different characters are capital ή lowercase in the same, during conversion, character. This phenomenon we see it usually between two different protocols, such as names of e-mail and domain.

A quick code example:

'ß'.toLowerCase() // 'ss'

'ß'.toLowerCase() === 'SS'.toLowerCase() // true

// Note the Turkish dotless i

'John@Gı'.toUpperCase() === ''.toUpperCase()

Conflicts during conversion

Although there are many cases of conflict at all levels Unicode, in the table below we only added cases of capital / pedestrian conversion conflicts in English.


CharCode PointOutput Char
Oh 0xFB02FL
Oh 0xFB03FFI
Oh 0xFB04FFL
Oh 0xFB05ST
Oh 0xFB06ST


CharCode PointOutput Char

Example of a true incident

Το feature of reset of his password GitHub could endanger MrAthos the system mturned to lowercase δaddresses e-mail And tbis compared with tbis eυθύnsin that was storeds in the database of users. If there was identification, tο GitHub έcloseln the password reset link to e-mail whereit had the intruder - who obviously not eoh την same address eemail.

Πbelow is a quote from his security team GitHub:

"Our team discovered a flaw in the way addresses e-mail Convέthey were hurt into a specifically character sets when used to search accounts in dprocedure password recoveryand access. Password reset tokensand access related to email addresses; and dprocedure a password reset with an address e-mail που τyou are crushing into a a another address will result in tM reset one token to be delivered to the address eemail other account. The attack only works if a provider e-mail allows tthe use Unicode in the "local" part of the email address and an attacker can claim an address e-mail containing Unicode which convert to a address e-mail other account (e.g. σsee fighereη to mike @ Unicode on the strand of domain is not allowed by the GitHub outbound mail server and therefore cannot be used as part of a wider shared attackά domain (e.g. in relation to gmaΔ ±

The GitHub has addressed the vulnerability by ensuring that the database email matches the address e-mail that triggered her procedure reset code. This ensures that the email address used to create it token corresponds to the address eemail where the reinstatement badge is delivered. "

Source: https: //


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