Latest Sneaky Web Attack: Hijacking Your Clipboard To Post Spammy Links

from the now-that's-creative dept

Spammers and scammers keep upping the game against security researchers, sometimes in creative ways. And, in fact, it would appear that the latest sneaky trick making the rounds is almost admirable in its sneakiness. For example, take a look at this latest hack, which hijacks your clipboard, and repeatedly places a link to a site for fake security software. The hijack takes place through flash advertisements (even those found on legit sites), which is all the more reason to use AdBlock or FlashBlock or NoScript or something to protect you. However, what it's banking on, is the fact that plenty of people quickly cut and paste links they want to send around or post in other blogs and forums. When done quickly, many people won't even notice that they're not pasting the link they thought they cut from elsewhere -- thus getting lots of folks to inadvertently spam links. This must be incredibly annoying for those who get hit with it, but that doesn't take away from the creativeness of the attack itself. Even security researchers, like Mikko Hypponen, are grudgingly tipping their hats on this hack: "It is a pretty clever technique. Our work would be so much easier if our enemy would be stupid."
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Filed Under: clipboard, links, malware, spam


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  1. identicon
    Thom, 19 Aug 2008 @ 5:04am

    No Flash

    When I finally got around to installing XP back in 2003 the first thing I did was tweak it and remove all the unnecessary cruft. One of the first pieces of cruft I removed was Flash and it hasn't been back in the five years since.

    Is there a rare YouTube video that I'd be inclined to view but can't? Sure. Is there an occassional website I'd like to visit but can't because it's Flash only? Sure. Those cases are rare though and rarer still are the instances where the desire has been more than a fleeting fancy and caused me to sit down at another pc.

    What's not so rare are the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Flash only websites have lost because I turned to their competitors. What's not so rare are the security vulnerabilities that I don't have to fret about. What's exhiliratingly exceedingly abundant are all the Flash ads that never load to slow my browsing experience or annoy and distract me.

    Flash is the tool of satan, umm marketing but they're one and the same, and no such tool will ever reside on my PC.

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