Hackers learn new trick to duck Firefox, Chrome anti-phishing measures

A new phishing scam that targets bank and PayPal passwords and other consumer data that criminals use to loot private accounts is designed to beat security built in to Firefox and Chrome Web browsers.

Security explored: 20 hot IT security issues 

As part of their security packages, these browsers receive URLs of known phishing sites and won't go to them unless users specifically permit them to. But a technique discovered by M86 Security Labs gets around this black-list protection.

The new ploy doesn't require victims to visit phony Web sites to fill out forms that appear legitimate and reveal passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers and the like. Instead, spammers send the forms as HTML attachments to e-mails. When victims fill out the forms and click to submit them, the data is sent through the browser via a POST request to PHP Web servers that have been hacked.

"While the POST request sends information to the phisher's remote web server, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox did not detect any malicious activity," the blog says. "Months-old phishing campaigns remain undetected, so it seems this tactic is quite effective."

The browsers don't pick up on this activity as malicious, partly because not many compromised PHP servers get reported so their URLs don't make the blacklists. Most users aren't sophisticated enough to discern the URL from the PHP submission, M86 says in a blog.

Also, because the PHP script doesn't show any HTML code to the browser, the URLs that the data is sent to are hard to verify as phishing sites, the blog says.

In a specific case that M86 describes, the PHP server involved had been installed on a compromised Frito-Lay Web page. After grabbing the victim's data, the PHP script redirects the browser to the legitimate company the victim thought it was dealing with.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags phishingpaypalanti-malwareM86 Security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?