Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community Resource for Identifying and Understanding Attacks
In an iFrame overlay attack the victim is tricked into unknowingly initiating some action in one system while interacting with the UI from seemingly completely different system. While being logged in to some target system, the victim visits the attackers' malicious site which displays a UI that the victim wishes to interact with. In reality, the iFrame overlay page has a transparent layer above the visible UI with action controls that the attacker 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 attacker may have just tricked the victim into executing some potentially privileged (and most 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 he or she is clicking on versus what he or she is actually clicking on.
The following example is a real-world iFrame overlay attack . In this attack, the malicious page embeds Twitter.com on a transparent IFRAME. The status-message field is initialized with the URL of the malicious page itself. To provoke the click, which is necessary to publish the entry, the malicious page displays a button labeled "Don't Click." This button is aligned with the invisible "Update" button of Twitter. Once the user performs the click, the status message (i.e., a link to the malicious page itself) is posted to his/ her Twitter profile.
Skill or Knowledge Level: High
Crafting the proper malicious site and luring the victim to this site is not a trivial task.
Configuration: Disable iFrames in the Web browser.
Operation: 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.
Operation: If using the Firefox browser, use the NoScript plug-in that will help forbid iFrames.
[R.222.1] Michal Zalewski. "Browser Security Handbook". Google Inc.. 2008. <http://code.google.com/p/browsersec/wiki/Main>.
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