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Malicious sites abuse 11-year-old Firefox bug that Mozilla failed to fix

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Malware authors, ad farmers, and scammers are abusing a Firefox bug to trap users on malicious sites.

This wouldn’t be a big deal, as the web is fraught with this kind of malicious sites, but these websites aren’t abusing some new never-before-seen trick, but a Firefox bug that Mozilla engineers appear to have failed to fix in the 11 years ever since it was first reported back in April 2007.

The bug narrows down to a malicious website embedding an iframe inside their source code. The iframe makes an HTTP authentication request on another domain. This results in the iframe showing an authentication modal on the malicious site, like the one below.

For the past few years, malware authors, ad farmers, and scammers have been abusing this bug to lure users on sites where they show all sorts of nasties, such as tech support scams, ad farms that reload the page with new ads in a loop, pages that push users to buy fake gift cards, or sites that offer malware-laced software updates.

Whenever users try to leave, the owners of these shady sites trigger the authentification modal in a loop. Every time the user dismisses it, another request is made, and a new modal appears, effectively keeping the user captive on the malicious sites until they close the browser altogether, and are forced to start a new browsing session.

But despite being reported over and over again for seven other times [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], this issue has gone unfixed, for unknown reasons, and crooks have gladly abused it all this time.

The latest example of abuse comes from a user who reported the issue once again today, after landing on one of these shady sites that tried to force him into installing a suspicious Firefox extension.

“At first, it is opened full screen mode. With some fake Windows dialog (I am using Linux so I know it is fake),” the user said. “It tried to [force] me install their extensions.”

“Then I press ESC to exit full screen. I click the close button of tab or window, but it doesn’t work because it has this login dialog. I click close button of the login dialog or cancel button. Then the dialog will appear again. I click the ‘Don’t allow’ button of extension installation pop over, but it seems not clickable. I killed the Firefox process, which is the only solution for me.”

firefox-bug-abused.png
Image: Guo Yunhe

Sure, Mozilla is an open source project, and it doesn’t have unlimited resources to handle all the reported issues, but you’d think that after more than 11 years a Firefox engineer would find the time to fix an actively exploited issue.

Based on the feedback left by other users on the reported issue, the Firefox team’s best bet is to follow how Edge and Chrome have dealt with this same issue.

Edge: The delay between authentication modals in Edge is large enough to allow the user to close the tab or the browser.

Chrome: The authentication dialog window has been moved from the browser window level to each tab’s level. This means the aggressive authentication dialogs only blocks the tab, and not the entire browsers, allowing the user to easily close the abusive tab.

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Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Endpoint Management

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Endpoint management is one of the most significant challenges in the enterprise today. An increasingly large percentage of our workforce is distributed and demands flexibility to work wherever they want, whenever they want. We must respond by giving them access to the services they require to do their jobs effectively. The alternative is that we, as a business, will suffer, lose good people, and become less competitive. However, we must achieve this essential access while maintaining security and control of our business’s data assets.

An appropriate endpoint management strategy is key to addressing these issues. Our approach should be holistic and unified, bringing together control of devices, management of applications, security of data, and access controls.

Unified endpoint management (UEM) is the approach to meeting this challenge. It has evolved from traditionally disparate solutions for endpoint management, application delivery, and security into a single platform. This single platform delivers a consistent end-user experience across all devices, applications, and locations while maintaining security and control of data assets. The leading solutions allow us to enroll devices easily into our control, provide support, and ensure constituency and compliance while managing access to our applications and data.

This GigaOM Key Criteria Report describes UEM solutions and identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting such a solution. The corresponding GigaOm Radar Report identifies vendors and products that excel in this sector. Together, these reports give decision-makers an overview of the market to help them evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

The post Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Endpoint Management appeared first on Gigaom.

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Data Storage for Ever Changing Business Needs

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Join GigaOm analyst Enrico Signoretti and CTERA CTO Aron Brand in this one-hour live webinar as they explore file storage trends and dynamics through the lens of IT infrastructure modernization projects.

The file and cloud experts will discuss the limitations of traditional NAS architectures in today’s corporate environments and how organizations are implementing distributed cloud file storage to solve remote collaboration, ransomware protection, and unstructured data growth challenges.

Signoretti and Brand will also examine the recently published GigaOm Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage, in which CTERA was named the leader. They will review the report’s key criteria and evaluation metrics for choosing a distributed cloud file storage platform, helping IT leaders to understand which vendors are most aligned to their needs today as well as 12-18 months down the road.

The post Data Storage for Ever Changing Business Needs appeared first on Gigaom.

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High Performance Application Security Testing – Cloud WAF Security Platforms

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This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research features analyst Jake Dolezal and will focus on comparing Web Application Firewall (WAF) security platforms in an enterprise with high performance needs.

This webinar will discuss web application security mechanisms deployed in the cloud. The cloud enables enterprises to differentiate and innovate with microservices at a rapid pace. However, the cloud is just as vulnerable, if not more so, to attacks and breaches as on-premises APIs and apps are. Our focus is specifically on approaches to securing apps, APIs, and microservices that are tuned for high performance and availability. We define “high performance” as companies that experience workloads of more than 1,000 transactions per second (tps) and require a maximum latency below 30 milliseconds across the landscape.

In this webinar, we will reveal the performance tests of security mechanisms on NGINX, AWS, and Azure, specifically: ModSecurity, NGINX App Protect WAF, AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), and Azure WAF.

Register now to join GigaOm and NGINX for this free expert webinar.

The post High Performance Application Security Testing – Cloud WAF Security Platforms appeared first on Gigaom.

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