Pentest Security Advisory : PTL-2002-03
XSS bug in Betsie

Advisory Details

Author: Mark Rowe
Announcement Date: 1st July 2002
Reference: ptl-2002-03
Product: Betsie
Vulnerable versions: 1.5.11 and all versions before
Vulnerability Type : Input Validation Error
Platforms: All
Vendor-Status: informed, new version available
Remote-Exploit: Yes


A Cross-site Scripting vulnerability exists in the Betsie application. The developer has been notified and a fixed version has been released.


Betsie stands for BBC Education Text to Speech Internet Enhancer, and is a simple Perl script which is intended to alleviate some of the problems experienced by people using text to speech systems for web browsing.

The Betsie perl script does not adequately validate and filter URL input making it vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting attacks.

Cross-site Scripting example: http://server/cgi-bin/betsie/

For more details about XSS vulnerabilities see


The vendor has released a new version of the script 1.5.12, which seems to fix the bug.

Vendor status:

Vendor has released a new version. See


Thankyou to Wayne Myers for responding so quickly to our notification and promptly releasing a fix.


Discovered on 24 June, 2002 by Mark Rowe

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