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 CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitypaypalanti-malwareM86 Securityphishing

More about Frito-LayGoogleHewlett-Packard AustraliaHPLANM86MozillaPayPal

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tim Greene

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts