Zscaler, a provider of cloud-based Internet security services, today released tool designed to help protect against malicious threats, scams and spam propagated on Facebook through a technique called “Likejacking.”
The tool, Zscaler Likejacking Prevention, comes in the form of a Web browser plug-in and is currently available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers.
Likejacking is a form of Clickjacking, a technique that uses a modified (and malicious) URL with embedded code to carry out the attack and trick users into “liking” a page without necessarily realizing that they are recommending it to all of their Facebook friends and enabling the attacker to spread malicious links, propagate spam and conduct other types of social engineering attacks.
With Likejacking, attackers exploit the Facebook “Like” button and other widgets – including the latest announced “Listened,” “Watched” and “Read” gestures, game “Challenge” button, and even the “Dislike” button if implemented – by getting people to click them. The “Like” buttons are often hidden transparently behind a “Play” or other button, causing you to click without knowing that you just unintentionally “Liked” something; this causes the content to appear in your friends’ News Feeds with a link back to the “Liked” website.
According to Zscaler and most industry threat reports, there has been a significant increase in the number of Clikjacking and Likejacking attacks across Facebook, with unsuspecting users and their friends falling victim constantly. “Our findings are consistent with other security researchers, who estimate that approximately 15 percent of Facebook videos alone are, in fact, Likejacking attacks,” said Julien Sobrier, senior researcher, Zscaler ThreatLabZ, and developer of the new Zscaler Likejacking Prevention tool. “In 2010, for example, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users fell victim to a single scheme alone.”
“As Web 2.0 sites increase their use of social plug-ins such as the Facebook ‘Like’ button, attackers are shifting to malicious clickjacking techniques, which are not being detected by browsers,” Sobrier added. Proactive tools like the new Zscaler Likejacking Prevention tool will provide simple yet effective protection against Likejacking and any type of clickjacking impacting Facebook widgets.”
Zscaler is also the company that developed “BlackSheep,” the Firefox plug-in that helps end users identify usage of FireSheep, the controversial Firefox extension that makes it dead simple to tap into someone’s social networking and email accounts (and many others) by “hijacking” user sessions while connecting via unsecured wireless networks. The company also provides Zscaler Safe Shopping, a free Firefox plugin that warns users when they visit a domain identified by Zscaler as potentially malicious. The plugin utilizes Zscaler’s cloud infrastructure to provide constant updates as compromised or fake online stores are identified.
The Zscaler Likejacking Prevention plug-in available as a free download here.