Feeds

Phishers dodge fraud protections in Firefox, Chrome

Outmaneuver blacklists

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A recent round of phishing attacks targeting customers of Bank of America and PayPal circumvent fraud protections built in to the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers by attaching an HTML file to the spam email.

According to M86 researcher Rodel Mendrez, the locally stored file opens a web form that collects the customers' login credentials, credit card numbers and other sensitive information and then uses a POST request to zap them to a PHP application on a legitimate website that's been compromised. By avoiding the use of more verbose GET requests and known phishing sites, the scam flies completely under the radar of the browsers' fraud protection features.

“While the POST request sends information to the phisher's remote web server, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox did not detect any malicious activity,” Mendrez writes. “Months-old phishing campaigns remain undetected, so it seems this tactic is quite effective.”

There's no technical reason why the browsers can't flag the URL that accepts the POST request. Mendrez posits that few PHP URLs get reported as abusive by most end users because of the technical expertise that's required. With not visible HTML accompanying them, there's little for the average user to go on.

The tactic is similar to one M86 reported last month that embedded self-extracting archive files in phishing emails and also used compromised legitimate sites to bypass anti-phishing protections.

Junk food maker Frito Lay, by the way, was one of the companies whose websites was hacked to host the PHP script, Mendrez says. The malicious app has since been removed.

There was no mention how Microsoft Internet Explorer responds to the HTML forms. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.