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Facebook users have been subjected to another round of clickjacking attacks that force them to authorize actions they had no intention of approving.

The latest episode in this continuing saga, according to Sophos researchers, is a set of campaigns aimed at Italian-speaking users of the social network. The come-ons promise shocking videos about such things as the real ingredients of Coca Cola. Instead, they are forced into registering their approval of the videos using Facebook's “Like” button.

“As more and more criminals discover how successful attacks via Facebook can be, we can expect the tried-and-trusted techniques of the English-speaking world to be cloned elsewhere around the globe,” Sophos researcher Paul Baccas writes.

Clickjacking is a term that was coined in 2008 by web-application security gurus Jeremiah Grossman and Robert “RSnake” Hansen. It describes attacks that allow malicious website publishers, or their users, to control the links visitors click on. They are typically pulled off by superimposing an invisible iframe over a button or link. Virtually every browser is vulnerable, although many come with safeguards that can make exploitation harder.

The No-Script extension for Firefox also provides some protection, although not always: users are often forced to allow Twitter and other websites to run Flash and other scripts in order to avail themselves of basic features. The functionality often gives attacks all they need to carry out the attacks.

The latest round of attacks, which Sophos said are also being seen in Japanese and Cryillic, are similar to clickjacking exploits unleashed last year on Facebook that forced users to share content without their express approval. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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