Zscaler Uncovers Security Vulnerabilities in ESPN ScoreCenter Mobile App

San Jose, California, January 18, 2013

Zscaler®, the leading provider of Security Cloud services for the mobile, social, everywhere enterprise, today revealed that ESPN ScoreCenter, one of the most popular mobile sports apps on the market, has significant security vulnerabilities that could compromise users’ mobile devices, including the threat of data theft. The flaws were unearthed using Zscaler Application Profiler (ZAP), the free online tool that makes it easy to assess mobile apps for security risks. ESPN said it is looking into the vulnerabilities in the ScoreCenter app. For more detailed background on this specific mobile app security threat, including a video on how to use ZAP, visit this blog post.

The security vulnerabilities with the ESPN ScoreCenter app highlight a growing security problem as mobile apps proliferate and basic security measures are overlooked in the development process.

“It’s important to remember that many mobile apps are not native applications—they’re essentially web pages displayed in a WebView control, or even just web content mixed in with native controls,” said Michael Sutton, VP, Security Research, Zscaler ThreatLabZ. “As such, vulnerabilities common to web applications can also occur in mobile apps. Users should be aware that such vulnerabilities in mobile apps often remain hidden, as apps don’t have the same visual indicators to show that data is being sent insecurely.”

First, by displaying basic web content without properly sanitizing user-supplied input, ESPN SportsCenter exposes a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw. Therefore, active content such as JavaScript can be injected into the app. Second, ESPN SportsCenter passes authentication credentials in clear text when an account is first created. By sending the password in clear text, ESPN ScoreCenter enables anyone sniffing traffic on the network to easily steal that key piece of information.

The flaws were discovered using ZAP, Zscaler’s Application Profiler. ZAP is an easy to use, free online tool where users can search the name of any iOS or Android app, and receive an instant assessment of its security and privacy risks, along with an overall risk score. Users can also use ZAP to scan traffic from an app installed on their device to see whether their own data is being exposed. No security expertise is needed to use ZAP. As more users submit mobile apps for analysis, Zscaler’s ThreatLabZ team adds the results to the ZAP database, in effect crowdsourcing the security profiles of thousands of mobile apps.



About Zscaler

Zscaler is revolutionizing Internet security with the industry’s first Security as a Service platform. As the most innovative firm in the $35 billion security market, Zscaler is used by more than 5,000 leading organizations, including 50 of the Fortune 500. Zscaler ensures that more than 15 million users worldwide are protected against cyber attacks and data breaches while staying fully compliant with corporate and regulatory policies.

Zscaler is a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for Secure Web Gateways and delivers a safe and productive Internet experience for every user, from any device and from any location — 100% in the cloud. With its multi-tenant, distributed cloud security platform, Zscaler effectively moves security into the internet backbone, operating in more than 100 data centers around the world and enabling organizations to fully leverage the promise of cloud and mobile computing with unparalleled and uncompromising protection and performance. Zscaler delivers unified, carrier-grade internet security, next generation firewall, web security, sandboxing/advanced persistent threat (APT) protection, data loss prevention, SSL inspection, traffic shaping, policy management and threat intelligence—all without the need for on-premise hardware, appliances or software. To learn more, visit us at www.zscaler.com.


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Whitney Black 
Director of Communications 
650-260-4616
joynpx@mfpnyre.pbz