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Clickjacking

Definition of Clickjacking

Clickjacking, also known as a UI redress attack, is a malicious technique that tricks users into unintentionally clicking on concealed links or buttons. It occurs when an attacker overlays a transparent, deceptive layer over a legitimate webpage or user interface. As a result, users unknowingly perform actions, such as downloading malware, sharing sensitive information, or liking a social media post, while thinking they are interacting with the legitimate website.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Clickjacking” can be represented as: /ˈklɪkˌdʒækɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Clickjacking is a malicious technique that tricks users into clicking on hidden elements or unintended buttons, leading to unintended actions, compromised accounts, or sensitive data exposure.
  2. It is typically accomplished by layering an invisible element over a visible one, and capturing user input via a disguised or misrepresented clickable interface.
  3. To prevent clickjacking, implement security measures like Content Security Policy (CSP) and X-Frame-Options headers, and use JavaScript to detect if your site is being framed maliciously.

Importance of Clickjacking

Clickjacking is an important technology term as it refers to a malicious online technique used by cybercriminals to deceive users into unwittingly performing actions on websites without their knowledge or consent.

This is typically achieved by concealing hyperlinks beneath seemingly harmless webpage elements such as buttons or images.

Understanding clickjacking is crucial because it raises awareness about the potential risks and vulnerabilities users may encounter on the internet, emphasizing the importance of implementing effective security measures for both web developers and users.

By staying informed about clickjacking, individuals can better safeguard their personal information and privacy while browsing the web, reducing the likelihood of falling victim to cyberattacks and identity theft.

Explanation

Clickjacking is a malicious technique employed by cyber criminals that aims to deceive users into performing unintended actions on a website or application. The purpose of this tactic is to exploit users without their knowledge, often resulting in unauthorized access to sensitive information, unintended sharing of personal content or undesired actions being taken on their behalf.

The prime targets for clickjacking are social media platforms, online banking sites, and other applications where users might be sharing sensitive data or making crucial decisions with a simple click of a button. To accomplish this, attackers overlay transparent, invisible elements or disguised links over legitimate website content to manipulate users into clicking on them.

Unsuspecting users believe they are interacting with a genuine interface or webpage, but they are in fact clicking on a disguised element unknowingly, causing unintended consequences. These unwanted actions may include sharing contact information, granting account permissions, or even making unwanted purchases.

Clickjacking is often hard to detect, which is why it is essential for users to remain vigilant and cautious while browsing the internet, and for website developers to implement preventive measures such as framebusting and the use of X-Frame-Options headers in web applications to mitigate the risks associated with clickjacking attacks.

Examples of Clickjacking

Facebook Like Button Clickjacking (2010): Cybercriminals successfully launched a clickjacking attack on Facebook using a hidden “Like” button. Users were tricked into clicking on links that seemed to direct them to interesting content like celebrity news, jokes, or quizzes, but were actually secretly “liking” a page. Once users clicked these links, the embedded “Like” button on the page registered their click, and the content was unknowingly shared on their profile for their friends to see. It spread rapidly across the platform, making it one of the most notorious examples of clickjacking.

Twitter “Don’t Click” Worm (2009): This clickjacking attack targeted Twitter users by sending tweets containing a “Don’t Click” shortened URL. Curious users who clicked the link were taken to a website containing a button that said “Don’t Click.” However, by clicking the button, users unknowingly activated a hidden script that sent the same “Don’t Click” tweet from their account, causing the worm to spread across the platform.

Steam “Bait & Switch” Trading-Scam (2014): Users of the gaming platform Steam were targeted in a clickjacking attack involving the trading of in-game items. Scammers used a browser exploit to overlay an invisible frame or iframe on top of the legitimate Steam trading window. Users who attempted to complete a trade on the website unknowingly clicked hidden buttons or links crafted by the hackers, which could result in the loss of valuable in-game items or the theft of login credentials. This “Bait & Switch” scam affected many users, causing significant financial losses for the victims.

Clickjacking FAQ

What is Clickjacking?

Clickjacking, also known as “UI redress attack,” is a malicious technique where an attacker tricks a user into clicking on a hidden element on a website that can compromise their security or privacy. This is done by overlaying an invisible element on top of a legitimate website interface, which the user interacts with unknowingly.

How does Clickjacking work?

Clickjacking works by using HTML/CSS attributes to overlay an invisible or disguised element (such as a button or link) on top of a visible element that a user intends to interact with. When the user clicks on the visible element, they unknowingly interact with the hidden element instead, potentially causing unintended consequences like executing malicious scripts or sharing sensitive information.

What are the potential risks of Clickjacking?

Clickjacking can pose various risks to users, including unauthorized actions on their accounts, theft of personal information, and unknowingly enabling unwanted features. In some cases, clickjacking attacks can be part of larger phishing or social engineering schemes to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or systems.

How can I protect myself from Clickjacking?

To protect yourself from clickjacking, use updated web browsers with built-in security features, enable clickjacking protection in your security software, and be cautious while clicking on links and buttons on unfamiliar websites. Additionally, avoid clicking on suspicious-looking links or buttons, even if they appear on legitimate websites, as they may be part of a clickjacking attack.

What can website owners do to prevent Clickjacking attacks?

Website owners can implement various security measures to prevent clickjacking attacks, such as using the X-Frame-Options HTTP response header, employing Content Security Policy (CSP) with the “frame-ancestors” directive, and using JavaScript-based defenses like “frame-busting” techniques. Regularly monitoring your site for potential vulnerabilities and staying abreast of new security threats can also help protect against clickjacking attacks.

Related Technology Terms

  • User Interface Redress
  • Frame Overlay
  • UI Spoofing
  • Hidden Click Attack
  • Bait-and-Switch Technique

Sources for More Information

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