Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/15/2010
12:04 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Websites Vulnerable To New Clickjacking Techniques

At Black Hat Europe, UK-based security researcher Paul Stone has demonstrated new and seemingly powerful attacks that dupe users into activating malicious links on Web sites without their even knowing it.

At Black Hat Europe, UK-based security researcher Paul Stone has demonstrated new and seemingly powerful attacks that dupe users into activating malicious links on Web sites without their even knowing it.Clickjacking simply describes a web-style cross-domain (multiple sites) attack where user initiated mouse clicks (or simply hovering over a malicious item) triggers an unintended action, such as an attack. The attack technique was first brought public by noted web security researchers Jeremiah Grossman and Robert "RSnake" Hansen in 2008.

According to Stone, a security consultant with Context Information Security in the UK, most web sites are still vulnerable to this attack-style today. And yesterday, at Black Hat Europe, Stone demonstrated other ways attackers can trick users into interacting with web pages in a way that enables the attacker to steal information.

Stone demonstrated four new clickjacking techniques such as text-field injection that could be used to target Webmail or other content rich web interactions. Despite some security precautions, browser support for the drag-and-drop API can be combined with a new attack that enables arbitrary text to be entered into a website on another domain.

Other attack techniques demonstrated by Stone include other text injection techniques; how to conduct reconnaissance on an intranet; and a way to determine if a target is logged into particular websites.

These attacks, Stone says, work in the recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

In his white paper, Next Generation Clickjacking, available here, Stone describes possible ways web site developers can protect against these attacks:

Frame-busting was the first technique that was recommended to counter clickjacking attacks. A page using this method will detect that is has been framed by another web site, and attempt to load itself in place of the site that is framing it (thus 'busting out' of the frame). However, a malicious site may try to use the onunload and onbeforeunload page events to prevent a framed site from navigating to a different URL.

An alternative to frame-busting is for a page to simply hide or obscure its content if it detects that it is being framed. Both Twitter and Facebook now use this approach. When framed, Twitter will hide its content and attempt to frame-bust. Facebook takes a slightly different approach by placing a semi-transparent overlay over its page, and will frame-bust when the page is clicked.

No JavaScript based method of clickjacking protection should be deemed 100 percent effective, and as a result browser vendors are now implementing declarative methods such as X-Frame-Options3, first introduced by Microsoft in Internet Explorer 8. Web browsers that support this security feature will prevent a web page being displayed in an iframe if the X-Frame-Options header is set by the page. In order to protect older browsers that do not support this feature, it is advisable for sites to use X-Frame-Options in addition to JavaScript-based methods.

Stone's white paper also goes into good, but not overly technical, detail on how the attacks work. If you're a developer, or interested in web security the paper is worth a read.

Stone always released a clickjacking tool designed to show researchers and website owners how easy these attacks may be performed on their sites. It's available here.

It's an area of web security that is as interesting as it is concerning.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4719
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
The client API authentication mechanism in Pexip Infinity before 10 allows remote attackers to gain privileges via a crafted request.
CVE-2020-15604
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
An incomplete SSL server certification validation vulnerability in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products could allow an attacker to combine this vulnerability with another attack to trick an affected client into downloading a malicious update instead of the expected one. CW...
CVE-2020-24560
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
An incomplete SSL server certification validation vulnerability in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products could allow an attacker to combine this vulnerability with another attack to trick an affected client into downloading a malicious update instead of the expected one. CW...
CVE-2020-25596
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x. x86 PV guest kernels can experience denial of service via SYSENTER. The SYSENTER instruction leaves various state sanitization activities to software. One of Xen's sanitization paths injects a #GP fault, and incorrectly delivers it twice to the guest. T...
CVE-2020-25597
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x. There is mishandling of the constraint that once-valid event channels may not turn invalid. Logic in the handling of event channel operations in Xen assumes that an event channel, once valid, will not become invalid over the life time of a guest. Howeve...