Feeds

Tweet hackers reopen Twitter vuln

Clickjack tit-tat

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Twitter's tit-for-tat struggle against clickjackers continues.

Two weeks after the micro-blogging site immunized its users against a fast-moving worm that caused them to unintentionally broadcast messages when they clicked on an innocuous-looking button, hackers have found a new way to exploit the clickjacking vulnerability.

The latest attack comes from UK-based web developer Tom Graham, who discovered that the fix Twitter rolled out wasn't applied to the mobile phone section of the site. By the time we stumbled on his findings, the exploit no longer worked. But security consultant Rafal Los sent us a minor modification that sufficiently pwned a dummy account we set up for testing purposes.

"The mobile site currently has no javascript on it at all, which is probably for a good reason as most mobile phones don't support it," Graham writes. "So it begs the question, how should Twitter prevent this click-jacking exploit?"

Screenshot of clickjacking page

Click "Yes" Here ...

Screenshot of clickjacked Twitter page

And this is what you get here

The proof-of-concept page presents the user with the question "Do you have a tiny face?" along with buttons to answer "yes" or "no." Choosing the affirmative while logged in to Twitter causes the account to publicly declare: "I have a tiny face, do you?" and then include a link to Graham's post.

The exploit is the latest reason to believe that clickjacking, on Twitter and elsewhere, is here to stay, at least until HTML specifications are rewritten. No doubt web developers will continue to come up with work-arounds, but hackers can just as quickly find new ways to exploit the vulnerability, it seems.

That's because clickjacking attacks a fundamental design of HTML itself. It's pulled off by hiding the target URL within a specially designed iframe that's concealed by a decoy page that contains submission buttons. Virtually every website and browser is susceptible to the technique.

Two weeks ago, Twitter was able to stifle the attacks by adding code to its site that changed its pages' location. That required the use of javascript that wasn't added to Twitter pages browsed by mobile users, presumably because they may have caused some older handsets not to work.

Readers of Graham's site already have zeroed in on a fix for the problem, but Los isn't sure it's foolproof. That's because it, too, is based on javascript, so it won't be effective against HTML-based attacks. Stay tuned. The clickjacking saga continues. ®

Update

Twitter web developers closed the hole within a few hours of this story being published.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.