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Are You Getting Your Clicks Stolen? Learn What Clickjacking Is & How to Protect Yourself

Have you ever tried to click on a button on a website only to find yourself being taken to a completely different page? Something just jumped out in front of your cursor right before you clicked.

You’re not imagining things. Clickjacking is a malicious tactic used by cybercriminals for stealing credit card details, planting adware, and redirecting your browser to a malicious website.

It’s one of the more difficult web-based threats to address because it exploits a normal part of the HTML architecture to put an invisible web element that you can’t even see over a legitimate webpage.

In 2019, a study found malicious clickjacking scripts present on over 600 popular websites.

In some cases, your click may be intercepted to get to you to click on an online ad (driving up ad revenue on a site), or a more dangerous version may overlay a completely different payment link over a legitimate button on an online shopping site.

Some of the actions that clickjacking can cause include:

  • Download malware onto your computer
  • Intercept payment details for a purchase
  • Direct you to a dangerous website
  • Steal your login credentials
  • Spread worms on social media
  • Activate your webcam without your knowledge
  • Get you to click on an online ad

With companies using web-based cloud solutions for much of their workflow these days, clickjacking has become a bigger threat. Understanding what clickjacking is and taking precautions can help you combat this hidden cybersecurity danger.

How Does Clickjacking Work?

Clickjacking takes advantage of normal HTML architecture designed to help web developers build engaging websites. It often uses the IFRAME element that allows for content (text, buttons, images, links) to be put into a frame that can then be layered over the main background webpage.

You can think of IFRAMES like making a scrapbook. You may paste some larger blocks of color on the background, then add some photos over that, then maybe a concert ticket is layered over those.

IFRAMES allow that same type of layering on webpages. Clickjacking scammers take advantage of that ability and they make the IFRAME layer invisible, so users don’t even know it’s there. But the background code elements are very much in place and when you click, they intercept the click, because they’re on top of the main webpage.

A few different click-jacking variations include:

Complete Transparent Overlay

This is when an entire invisible clickjacking page is covering a legitimate website page. This one has carefully positioned URLs over any clickable elements on the legitimate website.

Partial/Cropped Overlay

This is when the attacker only uses an invisible element over part of a page. It’s usually where there are clickable elements. This type of clickjacking may also overlay fake commands on buttons, so you think you’re clicking “learn more” but it’s actually a “share my contacts” permission action.

Click Event Dropping

In this type of clickjacking, the malicious page is actually hiding behind the legitimate webpage. But in the instant that you click, something called a CSS pointer-event property is used to drop the main page and register the event on the hidden malicious page.

Rapid Content Replacement 

Did you ever think that you saw something weird for a second when you were getting ready to click on something? This could have been rapid content replacement. It’s where a clickjacker tries to anticipate when a user is going to click and the transparent overlay is placed over the clickable element at that exact moment, and then removed.

How Can You Protect Against Clickjacking?

There are ways that you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of click jacking, as well as protecting any website you may have from being used for clickjacking.

To protect yourself from clickjacking while online you can:

Use Web Protection

Web protection, also known as DNS filtering, detects malicious websites and blocks them, redirecting you to a warning page instead of the dangerous site, even after you’ve clicked the link.

Keep Your Browser & Plugins Updated

Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities that may have already been patched with an update. You can reduce your risk by keeping your browser and browser plugins updated.

Use a Clickjacking Plugin

You can find browser plugins, like NoScript and NoClickjack, that are designed to let you know if any dangerous IFRAMES or malicious scripts are present on a website.

How to protect your website visitors from clickjacking:

HTTP Header Permissions 

Website owners can use an HTTP header to indicate whether or not a visitor’s browser can render a page in an IFRAME or similar element. If you’re not using these types of elements in your website design, blocking them can protect users without taking away from your website experience.

Frame-Killing Scripts

A tactic that is effective with older browsers especially is the use of a JavaScript snippet that prevents website elements to be displayed in an IFRAME.

How Secure Is Your Online Browsing Experience?

Web browsing threats are just one more danger that’s out there threatening your network and device security. Let Neuron Computers help you ensure your business is fully protected.

Contact us today to schedule a 21-point cybersecurity audit. Call 1-833-4-NEURON or sign up online.