Phishing scam uses PayPal secure servers
Cross-site scripting flaw opens dangerous phishin' hole
IDG News Service - A cross-site scripting flaw in the PayPal Web site allows a new phishing attack to masquerade as a genuine PayPal log-in page with a valid security certificate, according to security researchers.
Fraudsters are exploiting the flaw to harvest personal details, including PayPal log-ins, Social Security numbers and credit card details, according to staff at Netcraft Ltd., an Internet services company in Bath, England. The PayPal site, owned by eBay Inc., allows users to make online payments to one another, charged to their credit cards, and log-in credentials for the service are a prized target of fraudsters.
The attack works by tricking PayPal members into following a maliciously crafted link to a secure page on PayPal's site. Anyone thinking to check the site's security certificate at this point will see that it is a valid 256-bit certificate belonging to the site, Netcraft employee Paul Mutton wrote in the company's blog on Friday.
However, the URL (uniform resource locator) exploits a flaw in PayPal's site that allows the fraudsters to inject some of their own code into the page that is returned, he wrote. In this case, the result is a warning that the user's account may have been compromised, and that they "will now be redirected to Resolution Center." The page to which they are redirected asks for their PayPal account details -- but thanks to the cross-site scripting flaw in the PayPal site, and the data injected into the URL by the fraudsters, the page is no longer on the PayPal site. Instead, the page steals the log-in details and sends them to the fraudsters' server, then prompts the user for other personal information, Mutton said.
The Web server harvesting the personal details is hosted in Korea, Mutton said.
The cross-site scripting technique makes the phishing attempt difficult to detect, said Mike Prettejohn, also of Netcraft.
If the malicious link arrived by e-mail, then "there would be clues in the mail that it's not genuine," he said. "It's a technique chosen by fraudsters because it is hard to spot."
Although there could be benign uses of cross-site scripting to transfer data between sites, the technique has an inherent security risk, Prettejohn said. "I don't think people would intentionally use it," he said.
"If somebody knows there's a cross-site scripting opportunity on their site, the right thing to do would be to fix it," he said.
Staff at PayPal could not immediately be reached for comment.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Threat Landscape Hardly a day goes by without the discovery of a new cyberthreat somewhere in the world! But how do you keep up with...
- Security for Virtualization In the rush to implement virtualization, security has become second. So while the business benefits are clear, the risks are less well documented...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Malware and Vulnerabilities White Papers | Webcasts