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Mouse in a trap. What is clickjacking and how to protect your clicks


The word "clickjacking" has two roots: "click" ("click") and "hijack" ("capture"). Thus, clickjacking is the capture of a user’s mouse click and its use for fraudulent purposes.

As a result, by clicking on the button, you get to a completely different page. This poses a huge threat to your online security. That is why understanding the basics of clickjacking and how to prevent it is an extremely important topic for any network user. In this article, we will tell you about what this attack is and how you can protect yourself from it.

The essence of clickjacking

The basic method for performing this attack is quite simple and relies on the fact that you can create an invisible element on a web page. Attackers create invisible buttons on the site that are installed on top of real links and pictures.

When you click on a regular link on a web page, you are actually clicking on an invisible button that leads to a malicious site. This is a rather secretive and complex method of deceiving users. You are probably very interested in what exactly hackers can do with this attack? Steal your personal data? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions will disappoint you. Get ready and move on to the next section of our article.

What are clickjackers capable of?

At first glance, clickjacking may not seem too dangerous, but your clicks have a lot of power. Operating systems were designed to be trusted by the user. If a user with the appropriate rights asks the computer to do something for him, the machine has no choice but to obey him. Clickjackers trick a person into asking their own computer to do something they didn’t want. The machine has no way to refuse such an order.

Assuming that clickjackers manage to redirect your click elsewhere, how severe are the consequences? As you probably already guessed, one of the common types of clickjacking involves tricking the user into downloading and running a program (instead of a regular program, a person downloads malware). Given the fact that the user allows the download and installation of the malware, it installs safely with the level of system access you have given it.

Clickjackers can also redirect you to a fraudulent website under their control. For example, you land on a phishing resource or a page filled with ads and malware. Clickjacking is often used to capture your login credentials for various websites. While you think you are filling in the fields directly on the official website, your information is already being intercepted by scammers.

Intercepted clicks can be used to manipulate your computer. For example, attackers can use your web browser to gain access to your equipment, such as your webcam and microphone. When a site requests access to these devices, you need to grant permission. Clickjacker will redirect your clicks to get the right permission and can secretly record video and audio of your private life.

Finally, the biggest damage that clickjacking can cause is financial. Clickjacker uses this attack to trick you into allowing money transfers from your bank account directly to his card.

Varieties of clickjacking

Hackers took the basic concept of clickjacking as a basis and created several subtypes (forms) of this attack.

  • Likejacking (likejacking). Associated with capturing clicks on social networks (Facebook or VK) as these are platforms with a large user base. This is where your clicks are intercepted and you end up liking or recommending pages you don’t even know about. These fake likes and follows are used by hackers to manipulate content promotion algorithms or help them make financial profit in some way.
  • Cursorjacking (cursorjacking). Involves moving the user’s cursor to a different location by fraudulently. This can be used to steal the personal details you enter on the line. This sub-type of attack is very rare these days, as the exploits used to carry it out have been almost completely patched.
  • Filejacking (filejacking). Your clicks are intercepted to establish a connection to the file server. This gives the attacker access to personal files on your computer. If you have any sensitive data on your PC, scammers will be able to view and download it, and then use this information to blackmail you.

Mouse in a trap. What is clickjacking and how to protect your clicks

How a clickjacking attack is performed

While clickjacking takes many forms, there is a general pattern to how clickjacking is carried out that seems to form the basis of this hacking practice.

There are two main ways:

  1. In one form of clickjacking, a real website is intercepted by an invisible HTML Iframe element that contains buttons that are invisible to the user. When you go about your business on the official site, your clicks are intercepted and used to perform one of the above actions, such as recording a video on your webcam.
  2. Another type of clickjacking is known as the UI redress attack. The victim is redirected to a website created specifically for money transfer scams. You may receive an email with a link leading to a site offering you some kind of reward. When you open it, you will see a button that you must press to receive the coveted reward.

How to prevent clickjacking

Clickjacking is aimed at two different sides at the same time. The first is the owner of a legitimate website that will be compromised by a fraudulent invisible frame. Resource owners can design their site in such a way that it is not wrapped in an Iframe HTML tag and remains secure.

If you are not the owner of the site, but just a regular user, there are several ways to avoid becoming a victim of scammers.

First, make sure your web browser is updated to the latest version. Many clickjacking exploits are quickly fixed by developers. Another effective way to prevent this attack is to use special browser extensions. For example, No ClickJack for Google Chrome will show you hidden web layers that you can’t see if any are found. Thus, you can protect yourself and your personal data.

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