Tabnabbing Poses a New and Significant Security Threat

man worried-with labtopA new threat to computer security has been discovered in which tab browsing vulnerabilities are exploited to fool users into divulging passwords and other sensitive information.

Dubbed as “tabnabbing”, the vulnerability was discovered by Aza Raskin, the creative lead for the Mozilla’s Firefox browser and co-founder of Songza, a music search engine and jukebox. Tabnabbing fools users into entering passwords and other sensitive information when an unselected tab in your browser appears to transform itself into a lookalike for a familiar website. You are then prompted you to re-enter a username and password, which in turn passes that information along to the hacker. Incidentally, Raskin’s blog post on the topic (http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/a-new-type-of-phishing-attack/) demonstrates how the website can “change” into a lookalike.

Both Mozilla Firefox and Google are vulnerable to this type of attack, which is classified as “phishing” – a scam where users are tricked into entering login information into fraudulent websites masquerading as legitimate ones. Fortunately, there have been no instances – yet – in which tabnabbing has been used in phishing attacks, but Raskin says that he is “aware of other researchers and toolkits extending and expanding tabnabbing”. However, it’s very likely that phishers will be looking for ways to exploit tabnabbing soon, and are currently no fixes or patches released.

One way you can protect yourself from tabnabbing is to make sure that your browser has the proper anti-phishing features installed. It’s also important that your website is updated with the latest security features since many phishers like to exploit websites running old version web software, which they use to host phishing sites.

If you want to know more about keeping your system secure from the latest malware and security threats, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss security options that fit your needs and requirements.

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