Tabnapping: a new phishing attack [2010]

Aza Raskin's Tabnapping is a proof-of-concept for a fiendish attack: a tab that waits until you're not watching, then turns itself into a convincing Google login screen that you assume you must have opened.

Actually, it's even sneakier: it can use CSS-based analysis to figure out which websites you login to, and then can use cross-site scripting to reload a different tab -- another one that you're not looking at -- to turn itself into a convincing login screen.

Every time you include a third-party script on your page, or a Flash widget, you leave yourself wide open for an evil doer to use your website as a staging ground for this kind of attack. If you are the evil doer, you can have this behavior only occur once in a while, and only if the user uses a targeted service. In other words, it could be hard to detect.

You can also use a cross-site scripting vulnerabilities to force the attack to be performed by other websites. And for browsers that do not support changing the favicon, you can use a location.assign call to navigate the page to a controlled domain with the correct favicon. As long as the user wasn’t looking at the tab when the refresh occurred (which they won’t be), they’ll have no idea what hit them. Combine this with look-alike Unicode domain names and even the most savvy user will have trouble detecting anything is amiss.

Tabnabbing: A New Type of Phishing Attack

(via Hacker News)