Feeds

Mozilla snuffs password pilfering Firefox add-on

Beware unreviewed software calling itself Mozilla Sniffer

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mozilla has disabled and block-listed a Firefox add-on containing code that nabs login data sent to any website and reroutes it to a remote server.

The add-on — known as, um, Mozilla Sniffer — was uploaded to the Firefox add-on site on June 6, and the malicious code was discovered on Monday, after which the add-on was block-listed. This means netizens who installed the add-on will be prompted to remove it. Mozilla also says that, yes, anyone who has installed the add-on should change their web passwords tout de suite.

"If a user installs this add-on and submits a login form with a password field, all form data will be submitted to a remote location," Mozilla said in a Tuesday blog post, before adding that the remote server charged with collecting passwords appeared to be down.

According to Mozilla, the Sniffer was downloaded about 1,800 times, and as of Tuesday, there were 334 active users.

The add-on had not been reviewed by Mozilla. It was marked as "experimental", meaning that anyone who attempted to install it received a warning that the code had not been reviewed. Such unreviewed add-ons are merely scanned for viruses, trojans, and other malware.

Mozilla, however, is (slowly) developing a new security model designed to prevent unreviewed add-ons from being served to world+dog. "Having unreviewed add-ons exposed to the public, even with low visibility, has been previously identified as an attack vector for hackers. For this reason, we’re already working on implementing a new security model for addons.mozilla.org that will require all add-ons to be code-reviewed before they are discoverable in the site."

The proposed model is described in detail here.

Mozilla also said it had discovered a security vulnerability in version 3.0.1 of a far more popular add-on known as CoolPreviews, which displays previews of webpages when you mouse over links. Version 3.0.1 and earlier versions have been disabled, and a patched add-on has been uploaded to addons.mozilla.org.

According to Mozilla, when the user mouses over a link, the add-on could execute remote JavaScript code with local chrome privileges, giving an attacker control over the user's machine. "If a user has a vulnerable version installed and clicks on a malicious link that targets the add-on, the code in the malicious link will run with local privileges, potentially gaining access to the file system and allowing code download and execution," Mozilla said.

About 177,000 users had a vulnerable version of the add-on installed as of Tuesday — less than 25 per cent of total users. Mozilla intends to block-list vulnerable versions "very soon." ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.