Feeds

Tabnapping attack baits phishing trawl

Hook, link and stinker

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A leading developer of Firefox has warned of a sneaky potential new form of phishing attack.

Aza Raskin, the creative lead for Firefox, explains that the approach exploits the fact that most surfers keep many tabs open during a browsing session, without really keeping track of what sites they have visited.

The so-called tabnapping attack works by using JavaScript to switch the destination page in a tab after a few seconds of inactivity. This might be done using attack script planted in an otherwise legitimate website, for example.

If a surfer has only one tab open he is likely to get suspicious if a browser seems to be pointing at Gmail or other potential target rather than a news site, for example, and double check. But this is far less likely to happen if a user has multiple tabs open and where he might easily be induced to log in again, handing over login credentials to an attacker in the process.

The potential attack might be customised using a surfer's browser history file, Raskin warns. "Using my CSS history miner you can detect which site a visitor uses and then attack that. For example, you can detect if a visitor is a Facebook user, Citibank user, Twitter user, etc, and then switch the page to the appropriate login screen and favicon on demand," he explains.

Raskin has posted an explanation of the attack in a blog post here (watch what happens after you leave the page for a few seconds) and in a video explanation uploaded to Vimeo (below).

He suggests that improving browser technology that remembers login credentials for websites is one approach to help combat the problem. At best this is a partial solution, though, since many users avoid using password management in general; and saving passwords is an extremely bad idea when using computers in libraries or even at work that are shared by multiple users. ®

A New Type of Phishing Attack from Aza Raskin on Vimeo

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.