Feeds

Facebookers hit with steamy clickjacking exploit

'Click da button, baby!'

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Facebook administrators have blocked a clickjacking exploit that displayed images of a scantily clad woman on profile pages without first prompting the user for permission.

The attack began when a victim encountered the image of the near-naked woman on a friend's profile page along with the words "Want 2 C something hot? Click da button, baby!" Facebookers who took the bait - and were logged in to their accounts at the time - found their profile pages were updated to include the same image. The more people who fell for the come-on, the more the come-on was presented to new potential victims, giving the attack a viral quality.

Researchers who first spotted the ruse attributed it to a CSRF, or cross-site request forgery, vulnerability on Facebook's site. A spokesman for the social networking site disputed that explanation, saying the attack was really the result of clickjacking.

"This problem isn’t specific to Facebook, but we’re always working to improve our systems and are building additional protections against this type of behavior," Facebook spokesman Simon Axten wrote in an email. "We’ve blocked the URL associated with this site, and we’re cleaning up the relatively few cases where it was posted (something email providers, for example, can’t do)."

Clickjacking is a vulnerability at the core of the web that allows webmasters to trick users into clicking on a link they didn't intend to. The exploits are pulled off by superimposing an invisible iframe over a button or link. Virtually every website and browser is susceptible to the technique. Websites that accept user-generated content make especially potent launch pads for such attacks.

This latest attack is a reminder that it's often impossible to know where a given link will lead, even for careful users. Indeed, Gadi Evron, one of the security researchers who first spotted the exploit, confessed to having his Facebook page briefly display the image after first encountering it on a friend's page.

"This shows that even experts can become complacent and trust systems when they really shouldn't," he wrote. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.