Feeds

Tabnapping attack baits phishing trawl

Hook, link and stinker

Website security in corporate America

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

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
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?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
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
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.