Recently, I found that Digital Ocean suffered from a security vulnerability in their domain import system which allowed for the takeover of 20K domain names. If you haven’t given that post a read I recommend doing so before going through this write up. Originally I had assumed that this issue was specific to Digital Ocean but this couldn’t be farther from the truth as I’ve now learned. It turns out this vulnerability affects just about every popular managed DNS provider on the web. If you run a managed DNS service, it likely affects you too.


This is a continuation of a series of blog posts which will cover blind cross-site scripting (XSS) and its impact on the internal systems which suffer from it. Previously, we’ve shown that data entered into one part of a website, such as the account information panel, can lead to XSS on internal account-management panels. This was the case with GoDaddy, the Internet’s largest registrar. Today we will be showing off a vulnerability in one of the Internet’s certificate authorities which allows us to get a rare peak inside of their internals.


The above image is taken from here and was taken by Steve Jurvetson.

I recently decided to investigate the security of various certificate authority’s online certificate issuing systems. These online issuers allow certificate authorities to verify that someone owns a specific domain, such as and get a signed certificate so they can enable SSL/TLS on their domain. Each online certificate issuing system has their own process for validation of domains and issuing certificates which leaves a lot of attack surface for malicious entities.

The .int or international TLD is perhaps one of the most exclusive extensions available on the Internet. The number of domains on the extension is so small it has it’s own Wikipedia page.