Simon Willison’s Weblog

Blogmarks tagged security, phishing in 2008

Filters: Type: blogmark × Year: 2008 × security × phishing ×


FB App Canvas Pages: I Think I’d Use IFrames. Facebook’s Charlie Cheever explains the difference between FBML canvas pages, iframe pages and XFBML when building Facebook apps. I’m always surprised at APIs that load untrusted content in an iframe, as it seems like an invitation for frame-busting phishing attacks. # 2nd October 2008, 2:39 pm

This Week in HTML 5—Episode 7: Clickjacking. Clickjacking is when a third party site is embedded in an iframe with opacity 0 and positioned such that a click on the page actually hits a button on the now invisible third party site. Mark Pilgrim explains how the NoScript site uses this in a non malicious way to for the “install now!” button. # 1st October 2008, 1:48 am

Robust Defenses for Cross-Site Request Forgery [PDF]. Fascinating report which introduces the “login CSRF” attack, where an attacker uses CSRF to log a user in to a site (e.g. PayPal) using the attacker’s credentials, then waits for them to submit sensitive information or bind the account to their credit card. The paper also includes an in-depth study of potential protection measures, including research that shows that 3-11% of HTTP requests to a popular ad network have had their referer header stripped. Around 0.05%-0.10% of requests have custom HTTP headers such as X-Requested-By stripped. # 24th September 2008, 9:40 am

Frame-Busting Gadgets. I’ve always been slightly suspicious of the Google Gadgets / OpenSocial idea of sandboxing untrusted third party content in an iframe. Sure enough, it turns out iframe busting scripts work in Gadgets, meaning a seemingly harmless gadget could potentially launch a phishing attack. # 17th September 2008, 11:23 pm

Google wants your Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL contacts. And they’re using the password anti-pattern to get them! Despite both Yahoo! and Hotmail (and Google themselves; not sure about AOL) offering a safe, OAuth-style API for retrieving contacts without asking for a password. This HAS to be a communications failure somewhere within Google. Big internet companies stand to lose the most from widespread abuse of the anti-pattern, because they’re the ones most likely to be targetted by phishers. Shameful. # 15th September 2008, 10:39 am

OAuth on the iPhone. Mike from Pownce explains their superbly implemented OAuth flow for the Pownce iPhone app, and how much push-back they got on it from regular users. One interesting point is that an iPhone application could “fake” a transition to mobile safari using core animation as part of a sophisticated phishing attack. This is a flaw in the iPhone OS itself—it does not offer a phishing-proof chrome as part of the OS. # 12th September 2008, 9:47 pm

Reviews of the Pownce app on the iPhone app store on Flickr. I had to stitch together a screenshot because you can’t actually link to content in the App Store (unless you don’t care that people without iTunes won’t be able to follow your link). Three out of the four reviews complain about the OAuth browser authentication step, which is frustrating because Pownce have implemented it so well. # 12th August 2008, 11:05 am

Exposure (iPhone app) behaves suspiciously. Exposure on the iPhone does OAuth-style authentication incorrectly—it asks the user to authenticate in an embedded, chromeless browser which provides no way of confirming that the site being interacted with is not a phishing attack. Ben Ward explains how the Pownce iPhone app gets it right in the comments. Exposure author Fraser Spiers also responds. # 12th August 2008, 7:47 am

The Truth about Web Navigation. Jeremy Zawodny on regular users understanding the browser address bar: “They don’t. And they never will.” Then they’re going to get phished, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to help them. # 19th July 2008, 11:42 pm

Yahoo! Address Book API Delivered. At last, now there’s no excuse to ask your users for their Yahoo! username and password just so you can scrape their address book. # 4th June 2008, 6:03 pm

Scaring people with fullScreen. Unsurprisingly, you can work around the “Press Esc to exit full screen mode” message in Flash by distracting the user with lots of similar looking visual noise. This opens up opportunities for cunning phishing attacks that simulate the chrome of the entire operating system. EDIT: Comments point out that text entry via the keyboard is still disabled, limiting the damage somewhat. # 2nd June 2008, 10:18 pm

OpenID phishing demo (via) A demonstration of the OpenID man-in-the-middle phishing attack. idproxy.net OpenIDs are immune to this particular variant due to the landing page not asking for your password (the phishing site could still provide their own redesigned landing page and hope users don’t notice though). # 28th May 2008, 8:09 am

PayPal Plans to Ban Unsafe Browsers. At first I thought they were going to encourage real anti-phishing features in browsers, which would be a big win for OpenID... but it turns out they’re just requiring EV SSL certificates which have been proven not to actually work. # 19th April 2008, 10:45 am

openid.yahoo.com. Yahoo!’s human readable guide to OpenID, complete with tour. It looks like they’re relying on the “sign-in seal” to protect against phishing. # 17th January 2008, 2:35 pm