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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

10/10/2012
02:33 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Web API Allows Phishing Attack

A recent addition to HTML5, the Fullscreen API, appears to be easily abused.

11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A proof-of-concept phishing attack designed by a Stanford computer science graduate student offers a reminder that new Web technology can reinvigorate old risks.

Feross Aboukhadijeh, a Web designer, developer, and computer security researcher, has developed a way to spoof websites using the relatively new HTML5 Fullscreen API. As its name suggests, the API allows Web developers to present content in full-screen mode, without the distractions of Web browser interface elements.

Aboukhadijeh has published details of the attack on his website, which includes a link that opens a fake Bank of America page to demonstrate the technique. The attack uses the Fullscreen API to hide the interface elements of the user's browser--the chrome and the URL address bar--beneath an image of those interface elements. This prevents the user from knowing which website he is visiting.

Browser vendors have been aware of the potential for using this API for spoofing since it was first proposed. The Fullscreen API specification includes a "Security and Privacy Considerations" section that advises browser makers to implement an overlay element that tells the end user when full-screen mode has been initiated. "This is to prevent a site from spoofing the end user by recreating the user agent or even operating system environment when fullscreen," the specification states.

[ Read Why Huawei Has Congress Worried. ]

Unfortunately, Apple's Safari browser, version 6.01 and later, provides little or no sign that full-screen mode has been activated. Google Chrome, version 22 and later, offers some notice, though as Aboukhadijeh observes, the notification is "pretty subtle and easily missed." Mozilla Firefox, version 10 and later, alerts the user with a conspicuous notification.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 does not presently support the HTML5 Fullscreen API, although IE under Windows 8's Metro interface is always full screen. Microsoft confronted the issue of browser UI abuse in 2004 and placed constraints on chromeless popup windows in its Windows XP SP2 update to reduce the risk of spoofing.

Aboukhadijeh's attack depends on social engineering rather than flawed code. Although it's certainly less worrisome than a technical vulnerability that could allow the remote takeover of a computer, it's also less easily fixed--human gullibility can't be patched and defining adequate notification for an interface change isn't as simple as modifying code to prevent a crash.

There are a variety of ways to deceive people online and the only way to mitigate that risk is constant vigilance. In Apple's case, following the security recommendations in Fullscreen API specification would help, too.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
PJS880
50%
50%
PJS880,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2012 | 9:19:07 AM
re: Web API Allows Phishing Attack
I love reading about security exploits in information technology. Way to go Doubleheader for locating and sharing the exploit and now it is being properly addressed. With small warning that are easily overlooked it is surprising that these are not more common today than ever before due to the presence of HTML5 on the web. Disappointing to read that this was clearly addressed under securities and not brought more to the forefront as a much larger vulnerability than outlined.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
Commentary
Cyberattacks Are Tailored to Employees ... Why Isn't Security Training?
Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian,  6/17/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Powerful Cybersecurity Skills the Energy Sector Needs Most
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer,  6/22/2021
News
Microsoft Disrupts Large-Scale BEC Campaign Across Web Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/15/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32823
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
In the bindata RubyGem before version 2.4.10 there is a potential denial-of-service vulnerability. In affected versions it is very slow for certain classes in BinData to be created. For example BinData::Bit100000, BinData::Bit100001, BinData::Bit100002, BinData::Bit<N>. In combination with &lt...
CVE-2021-35041
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
The blockchain node in FISCO-BCOS V2.7.2 may have a bug when dealing with unformatted packet and lead to a crash. A malicious node can send a packet continuously. The packet is in an incorrect format and cannot be decoded by the node correctly. As a result, the node may consume the memory sustainabl...
CVE-2021-2322
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Vulnerability in OpenGrok (component: Web App). Versions that are affected are 1.6.7 and prior. Easily exploitable vulnerability allows low privileged attacker with network access via HTTPS to compromise OpenGrok. Successful attacks of this vulnerability can result in takeover of OpenGrok. CVSS 3.1 ...
CVE-2021-20019
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
A vulnerability in SonicOS where the HTTP server response leaks partial memory by sending a crafted HTTP request, this can potentially lead to an internal sensitive data disclosure vulnerability.
CVE-2021-21809
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
A command execution vulnerability exists in the default legacy spellchecker plugin in Moodle 3.10. A specially crafted series of HTTP requests can lead to command execution. An attacker must have administrator privileges to exploit this vulnerabilities.