Feeds

Rash of Facebook 'likejacks' still flaring

On Facebook, no one knows you're a bot

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Facebook attacks that force users to unwittingly endorse scam pages keep spreading, researchers say.

When the exploits surfaced on Tuesday, they resulted in hundreds of thousands of users giving their thumbs up to links with titles including: "LOL This girl gets OWNED after a POLICE OFFICER reads her STATUS MESSAGE." Since then, similar attacks have circulated that cause users to recommend pages promising naked pictures of alternative rock diva Hayley Williams or the phone number of heart-throb singer Justin Bieber.

The attacks exploit a flaw present in virtually every browser that allows unscrupulous webmasters to control the links a visitor clicks on. They work by overlaying an invisible iframe or other web object on top of a link or blank space on a webpage. The result is that a user can never be sure he's clicking on the link or button he thinks he is. The exploit has been coined “clickjacking” by Jeremiah Grossman and Robert “RSnake” Hansen, the security researchers who brought the technique to public awareness in late 2008.

So far, there are no reports that the Facebook attacks amount to much more than pranks that cause users to click a “Like” button that recommends a link to their friends. But it's not inconceivable that the “likejacking” exploits could be used in much the way black-hat search engine optimization is used to lure people to websites that try to install malware on their machines.

There's only so much Facebook can do to stop the exploits since the actual clickjacking takes place on websites controlled by the attackers. Still, engineers could probably do better at isolating and then blocking the users or bots that are perpetuating the scam. Until then, remember that the number of “Likes” an ad or other piece of content boast on Facebook is largely meaningless. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.