Click Hijacking : Methods & Ways

To begin, let's define what click hijacking means and how it can lead to ad-fraud. When the user clicks on the hijacked link, the attacker will start downloading the malware. In a certain area of ​​the screen where the attacker knows that the user is clicking, the attacker can replace the real and hidden cursor with a fake cursor, and manipulate the screen in such a way that the user knows that they are clicking on a malicious link instead of clicking on something else. The successful Tweet bomb attack in 2009 was a continuous loop. Users have clicked the tweet link to open the web page, clicked the link to open the tweet, and then tweeted the link to their account to encourage followers to click the link. Click hijacking is one of the leading causes of ad-fraud in the tech industry.


Clickjacking or clickjacking is a network attack in which an invisible malicious link is placed on the user interface of a website. Clickjacking can facilitate or facilitate other cyber-attacks, such as XS. Classic clickjacking means a situation where a scammer deploys a secreted layer on a web page to manipulate the targeted user's cursor, causing the target to click. Clickjacking is an attack that makes the target user click on parts that are indistinguishable or disguised as different items. Click hijacking attacks attempt to induce users to click on unexpected elements on web pages. The attacks are generally carried out by allowing users to see invisible HTML elements or iframes at the top of the page.


On the page that is clicked, the attacker loads the page as the original page with a transparent overlay and prompts the user to take action, even if the result is not as expected. The user believes that they have clicked on the visible page, even if they just clicked on an invisible item or moved to an additional page from the visible page. An example of a click page that causes users to take unwanted actions by clicking on a hidden link. In similar hacking attacks, if a user clicks on the current link, they will be tricked into clicking the Facebook button.


How does it work?


As we have learned that clickjacking is basically an interface-based scam or an attack which targets the users and deceives them into clicking on an actionable content on a concealed websites or additional content on trap websites. Network users can win prizes by clicking the link provided in the email or clicking the button to visit the decoy page. Clickjacking, commonly referred to as a countervailing attack, refers to the use of large amounts of transparent or opaque coatings by scammers to get specific users to click on the page they want to click, rather than a button or link on the homepage.


The attacker tricked the network user into pressing a spare "hide" button to make payment to the account on the website. This is a complex form of click spam, and it is even more insidious because the user's net CPI payment device may be hijacked by criminals. In addition, click injection (also known as clickjacking) has long been one of the most popular types of CPI ad fraud. Click on malware that can be hidden in applications, legitimate applications downloaded from third-party app stores, people who sent you copies of false click reports, or network hijackers click to perform detection of potential client installations. Click hijacking is one of the most common ad-fraud and click spam mapping methods.


Clickjacking is a click-to-install mobile ad fraud that sends a fraudulent click report immediately after the actual click. Click flooding (also known as click spam) is another type of scam that occurs when bad actors report a large number of fraudulent clicks in the hope of obtaining credit for biological application installations. Clickjacking is classified as a user interface attack (or repair), which is a malicious technique that tricks users into clicking on something outside of their perception, revealing sensitive information, and allowing others to control it. By clicking on harmless objects, your computer, including websites. The most common method of clicking is to show users a combination of two or more hierarchical websites or browser windows to stimulate some motivation to click at a specified location.


Finally, the user clicks on the part named iframe on the target web page with the cursor, so that the browser window can be divided into several parts so that different elements can be shown or hidden, and attackers can be launched as necessary. The attacker first loads the vulnerable web page into an iframe, places it completely transparently, and places it in front of the created malicious web page to trigger clicks in the appropriate location. The attacker then hides the iframe behind a harmless link on the website (such as the New York Times headline or Digg button). When the victim clicks on the link, the cursor will click on the iframe. For example, an attacker may want to entice users to purchase items from a retail website, but the item must be added to the shopping cart before an order can be placed.


This attack is different from the CSRF attack in that the user must take an action, such as clicking a button, and the entire request must be spoofed without the user's knowledge or input. We have developed a new detection method for this type of attack, which is based on the behavior and reaction of the active content on the website when the user clicks on the request. In our experiments, we found that our detection method can detect advanced and scalable vector graphics attacks (SVG-based attacks) that most modern tools cannot. Having understood click hijacking it must not be hard to understand how this is one of popular means of conducting ad-fraud.


How to prevent?


The clickjacking scam/ attack cloaks a page where the targeted user believes the iframe, and then displays invisible elements at the top of the frame. To ensure that your site is not used for clickjacking attacks, you must ensure that malicious sites cannot wrap it in an iframe. This can be made possible by instructing the browser directly via HTTP headers, or in older versions of browsers by use client-side JavaScript (frame termination).

Some suggested ways include:

  1. Framebusting or framebreak:

Before support for new HTTP headers becomes widespread, website developers must implement special framebuster (or framekiller) scripts to prevent their pages from being framed. To be assured that this is the current page, the preliminary framebusting script verifies and checks top.location; if not then, top.location is set to self. However, these scripts are easily blocked or ignored by external frameworks, so more complex solutions have been developed. Even so, there are still plenty of ways to bypass the more complex frame-breaking programs, and such scripts should only be used to provide basic protection for older browsers. The existing method suggested by OWASP is to hide or conceal the complete body of the HTML document and show it only after the verification page has no frame.


2. X Frame Options:


The best solution at this point may be to use the HTTP XFrameOptions (XFO) response header in the server response. Microsoft on its Internet Explorer 8 and later versions originally introduced and formalized RFC 7034, in which the XFO header is employed to postulate and specify if the page can be embedded in & lt; frame & gt;, & lt; iframe & gt;, & lt; embed> or the element & lt; object>. The header supports three possible commands: deny to block all framing attempts, sameorigin only allows framing of pages from the same source, or allow form to allow pages of a specific URI to be framed. However, several browsers (including Chrome and Safari) don't support allowfrom, so if you need to specify the font, it's better to use CSP (see below). For overall anti-frame protection, one only needs to postulate XFrameOptions: deny or XFrameOptions: sameOrigin in the server header.


3. Content Security Policy with frame ancestors:


The ContentSecurityPolicy (CSP) HTTP header was originally developed to prevent XSS and other data injection attacks. However, it also provides a frame ancestors directive to specify the source (in <frame>, <iframe>, <object>, <embed>, or <applet>) that allows the insertion of the page. The syntax is very simple:

Content-Security-Policy: frame-ancestors <sourceA> <sourceB> <sourceC>... <sourceZ>;

You can specify any number of fonts. Supported font values ​​include IP or host address, schema type, "self" which specifies the font of the current document, and "none" which prohibits all embedding. This provides a lot of flexibility in defining the origin, especially in complex implementations, but for basic protection the last two options are usually sufficient: frame ancestors `self` is equivalent to the XFO directive sameorigin, and frame ancestors` none `corresponds to reject in XFO.


In addition to the server-side and client-side anti-framing solutions, the built-in security features of modern browsers can also protect users from clickjacking. The web page rendering process involves multiple layers of checks to ensure that user interface behavior meets user expectations, including anti-clickjacking algorithms to deal with scrolling and repositioning attacks. The browser can also block pop-ups and other abnormal behavior on the website, or warn users when they try to perform suspicious operations.


Why click hijacking will be prevalent in the near future?


X Frame Options is a workaround commonly adopted solution by browser vendors. CSP's frame ancestors command provides a more standardized and flexible version of the same method. Both of these headers can presently offer an actual guard against frames and frame-based clickjacking scams/ attacks, and in the future frames should see widespread adoption to prevent iframe abuse. But never forget that, clickjacking does not have much to do with iframes, it is about confusing targeted users and manipulating their belief in what they see on the browser window. Since most of the web browsing traffic is now coming from mobile devices, the possibility of creating a misleading user interface is huge and protecting access to the traditional web browser is no longer enough.


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