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CAPEC-103: Clickjacking

Attack Pattern ID: 103
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
In a clickjacking attack the victim is tricked into unknowingly initiating some action in one system while interacting with the UI from a seemingly completely different system. While being logged in to some target system, the victim visits the adversary's malicious site which displays a UI that the victim wishes to interact with. In reality, the clickjacked page has a transparent layer above the visible UI with action controls that the adversary wishes the victim to execute. The victim clicks on buttons or other UI elements they see on the page which actually triggers the action controls in the transparent overlaying layer. Depending on what that action control is, the adversary may have just tricked the victim into executing some potentially privileged (and most certainly undesired) functionality in the target system to which the victim is authenticated. The basic problem here is that there is a dichotomy between what the victim thinks they are clicking on versus what they are actually clicking on.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

Medium

+ Typical Severity

High

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.173Action Spoofing
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.181Flash File Overlay
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.222iFrame Overlay
+ Execution Flow
Experiment
  1. Craft a clickjacking page: The adversary utilizes web page layering techniques to try to craft a malicious clickjacking page The adversary leveraged iframe overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page The adversary leveraged Flash file overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page The adversary leveraged Silverlight overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page The adversary leveraged cross-frame scripting to craft a malicious clickjacking page

    Techniques
    The adversary leveraged iframe overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page
    The adversary leveraged Flash file overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page
    The adversary leveraged Silverlight overlay capabilities to craft a malicious clickjacking page
    The adversary leveraged cross-frame scripting to craft a malicious clickjacking page
Exploit
  1. Adversary lures victim to clickjacking page: Adversary utilizes some form of temptation, misdirection or coercion to lure the victim to loading and interacting with the clickjacking page in a way that increases the chances that the victim will click in the right areas. Lure the victim to the malicious site by sending the victim an e-mail with a URL to the site. Lure the victim to the malicious site by manipulating URLs on a site trusted by the victim. Lure the victim to the malicious site through a cross-site scripting attack.

    Techniques
    Lure the victim to the malicious site by sending the victim an e-mail with a URL to the site.
    Lure the victim to the malicious site by manipulating URLs on a site trusted by the victim.
    Lure the victim to the malicious site through a cross-site scripting attack.
  2. Trick victim into interacting with the clickjacking page in the desired manner: The adversary tricks the victim into clicking on the areas of the UI which contain the hidden action controls and thereby interacts with the target system maliciously with the victim's level of privilege. Hide action controls over very commonly used functionality. Hide action controls over very psychologically tempting content.

    Techniques
    Hide action controls over very commonly used functionality.
    Hide action controls over very psychologically tempting content.
+ Prerequisites
The victim is communicating with the target application via a web based UI and not a thick client
The victim's browser security policies allow at least one of the following JavaScript, Flash, iFrames, ActiveX, or CSS.
The victim uses a modern browser that supports UI elements like clickable buttons (i.e. not using an old text only browser)
The victim has an active session with the target system.
The target system's interaction window is open in the victim's browser and supports the ability for initiating sensitive actions on behalf of the user in the target system
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
Crafting the proper malicious site and luring the victim to this site are not trivial tasks.
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Access Control
Authorization
Gain Privileges
Integrity
Modify Data
Confidentiality
Read Data
Availability
Unreliable Execution
+ Mitigations
If using the Firefox browser, use the NoScript plug-in that will help forbid iFrames.
Turn off JavaScript, Flash and disable CSS.
When maintaining an authenticated session with a privileged target system, do not use the same browser to navigate to unfamiliar sites to perform other activities. Finish working with the target system and logout first before proceeding to other tasks.
+ Example Instances

A victim has an authenticated session with a site that provides an electronic payment service to transfer funds between subscribing members. At the same time, the victim receives an e-mail that appears to come from an online publication to which he or she subscribes with links to today's news articles. The victim clicks on one of these links and is taken to a page with the news story. There is a screen with an advertisement that appears on top of the news article with the 'skip this ad' button. Eager to read the news article, the user clicks on this button. Nothing happens. The user clicks on the button one more time and still nothing happens.

In reality, the victim activated a hidden action control located in a transparent layer above the 'skip this ad' button. The ad screen blocking the news article made it likely that the victim would click on the 'skip this ad' button. Clicking on the button, actually initiated the transfer of $1000 from the victim's account with an electronic payment service to an adversary's account. Clicking on the 'skip this ad' button the second time (after nothing seemingly happened the first time) confirmed the transfer of funds to the electronic payment service.

+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Phases, Description Summary, Examples-Instances, Related_Weaknesses, Resources_Required

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018