URL-Spoofing: Apple Safari Can Be Manipulated Easily

What it’s about

All you need to do so is a bit of Javascript. With just a few lines of it Safari users can be deceived by what’s commonly known as URL-spoofing: During such an attack, a computer user innocently visits a web site and sees a familiar URL in the address bar such as http://www.avira.com but is, in reality, sending information to an entirely different location that would typically be monitored by a cybercriminal.

The security issue was discovered by David Leo, who put together a proof-of-concept for it. When clicking on OK a new website is being loaded. While the address bar tells you that you are visiting dailymail.co.uk the actual page is definitely a different one.

The URL-spoofing itself is done with just a few lines of code:

function f()
{
location=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html?random=”+Math.random();
}
setInterval(“f()”,10);

The last part, setInterval(“f()”,10); , makes sure that the address bar is reloaded ever 10 milliseconds (so you might as well say, that it’s kind of a DDoS attack, too), just before the browser can get the real page and so the user sees the “real” web address instead of the fake one. This causes the spoofed URL to flicker; sometimes it’s even possible to briefly see the actual URL.

What you can do

Your first step should always be to make sure that your browser is up to date so that security updates can be installed once available. In addition to that open up the Safari settings, go to the advanced tab, and choose “Show full website address”. The browser will then show the results of MathRandom in the address bar.

Alternatively you could also just use another browser for the time being: The code will not work in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

PR & Social Media Manager @ Avira |Gamer. Geek. Tech addict.