Clickjacking at Top Websites Beaten By Researchers

By Channel Insider Staff  |  Print this article Print

Clickjacking uses malicious iframes to take control of a web surfer's clicks and hijack their web session. New research has found a common defense used by websites to prevent clickjacking attacks can be broken.

Four researchers from Stanford and Carnegie Mellon outlined how frame busting, a protection meant to defeat clickjacking, can be circumvented on Twitter and other popular sites.

The term clickjacking was first used in 2008 by WhiteHat Security CTO Jeremiah Grossman and Robert "RSnake" Hansen, CEO of SecTheory. In order to combat the attack, websites instituted techniques known as frame busting, which prevent a site from running when it is loaded inside a frame.

According to researchers from Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University, frame-busting isn't as effective at preventing clickjacking as hoped. An analysis of the Top 500 websites ranked by Alexa found all of the frame busting implementations could be circumvented. Some of the circumventions were browser-specific, while others worked across all browsers, the researchers found.