Jude's Blog

Newest Phishing Attack Hijacks Your Browser Tab

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We all use tabs – easier,  faster, safer, legit and what more can we expect form a tab. Well its  time that we need to consider the trustworthiness about  the ‘Tabs’. Here comes the newest threat that targets a ‘Tab’ for phishing and  is something serious thing to look at as this is so simple and you wont even notice this in a busy browsing time and falling into this trap is highly possible.  A new ‘Tab’ is almost always opened by either the user or a current page it-self  with the users attention, most of the time we know that its kind of  safe to use an opened ‘Tab’ as we see no harm in it. So someone figured a method that will test our trust and  sneak into a current loaded tab. Now that’s Scary.

Well, without much briefing lets look at a real-time scenario here.

  • I’m running several tabs in my browser which are all opened by me.
  • One of the tabs has a site that runs a JavaScript. The code checks on other tab behaviors, waits for a delay and in that delay period if the user doesn’t access a certain tab, the code takes control of the tab and alters it.
  • This altering will result in the change of the web page, title, and even the favicon(the small icon on the tab) but it wont change the URL and the normal web page will be running in the background.
  • In a real time scenario we may see a facebook/gmail/bank login page where a different page was there before and as we normally don’t check on our URL each time we click on a tab, we may trust it and enter required details

This tab hijacking system targets on user trust. Where after the page was altered and when we quickly browse through the tabs we usually rely on the favicon and the tab title rather than checking the URL which leads us into trust what we  see.

Next time you might want to consider looking at the URL too when you are using your personal details such as logins, credit cards etc.

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Written by judeperera

May 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Security

Tagged with , , ,

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