Blink tag considered harmful

The blink tag will destroy your computer:
The specific flaw exists due to a failure to unregister a callback pointer during the destruction of a particular type of element when embedded inside a 'blink' container. The application dereferences the original resource which can can be leveraged by an attacker to execute arbitrary code under the context of the current user.
Apple Webkit Blink Event Dangling Pointer Remote Code Execution Vulnerability


  1. This is not a genuine vulnerability – no-one would dare defile a Mac by viewing a site that used the blink tag…

    1. Except that Mac isn’t the only thing that uses Webkit. Konqeuror and Chrome are the first two that come to mind, as well as Safari on Windows.

  2. Why do browsers support such near-universally loathed, obsolete, non-standard tags? (yeah, I know IE’s situation,there was at least a strategy there) Does Webkit also support marquee?

  3. Late April Fools?

    Personally, if my firewall blocks any site that uses the blink tag, I’m OK with that…

  4. First they came for the blink tag, then they came for gopher, telnet. FTP, and port 25 were not far behind. By the time they went after hand written HTTP there were none of us left to stand up for it.

    Who misses the easy unsecure protocols of 1990 for DIY embedded gadgets and ten line programs that actually do useful stuff.

  5. haha this vulnerability doesn’t affect me, I’m using Internet Explorer. I’ve always wanted to say that :)

  6. As blink tag no longer works in anything except firefox, resisting temptation to edit post to include javascript solution to ensure everyone receives equal measure of pain.

    1. Ah…Javascript. HTML5’s little partner to remake the web. Be careful what you wish for, you may blink to regret it.

  7. There is also the genetic “virus” that is activated via this mechanism; Photosensitive Epilepsy.

  8. Rob: I have the misfortune of learning today that it also works in Opera, so you’re causing pain on at least 2 or 3 percent more people than you thought.

    1. I assure you that you are not alone. We may be alone, however. But it’s better to be dumb with someone than dumb by myself.

  9. Cory is actually being very devious…there is a subliminal message in that blink that makes you hate iPads.

  10. Thank Safari, I went unaware of Cory’s dig until Rob’s comment.

    Yes, I opened up Firefox to witness your pain. Yes, I ran back to Safari immediately :)

  11. Wow, wasn’t the uPas (that’s the trendy spelling of “iPad”, according to iPhone’s autocorrect) recently jailbroken by an allegedly user-space exploit? Could this be it? It will be an example of… not irony… but… an ancient hideous design idea ending up being the one that destroys the protection built around a device which has one of its appeal, a beautiful modern design.

  12. This is the second time this week I’ve seen the blink tag in use.

    The other was Sterling’s blog. The entry has since been deblinked.

    1. Um, the point of trying to discover security exploits is to try and find them before the bad guys do.

      These kinds of exploits (assuming this is true) are at very deep levels, and most of them will never really be used. But you can bet your bottom dollar that there are people actively trying to find them. Remember the exploit posted a while back about freezing RAM in liquid nitrogen to recover their data? While no one is going to steal your grandma’s Amazon password using such a technique, undoubtedly there was suddenly a lot of scrambling at the NSA to see if they could reproduce it and if 1) they might be vulnerable to such an attack, and 2) if they could use it themselves.

      1. Um, the point of trying to discover security exploits is to try and find them before the bad guys do.

        Um, Apple already patched this a while ago. (See Safari 4.0.5)

        I don’t have anything against discovering security expliots, by the way; you hallucinated that somehow.

  13. Rob: how about adding just a few lines of jQuery to help out those of us not running Firefox? This poor Chrome user was left out of the joke… It wouldn’t take more than maybe five lines…

  14. FYI:

    Open firefox –> in the address bar “about:config” –> search “browser.blink_allowed” –> change value to “false”

  15. What’s wrong with the blink tag? Next you’ll be complaining about my mullet.

    1. I hope others will join me in a pledge to never, ever complain about or mock your mullet.

  16. @SamSam Who needs Liquid Nitrogen? A Can of Spray “Air” Will do the Trick. (It’s having the bootloader on the USB that will pick out the Decryption key from Memory thats the the Trick!

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