Serious vulnerability hits non-Microsoft browsers


Serious vulnerability hits non-Microsoft browsers

Antony Savvas

Security company Websense has reported a vulnerability in internet browsers that allows hackers to launch phishing attacks by spoofing legitimate websites.

On this occasion the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser is not affected by the vulnerability, which only affects its competitors.

The vulnerability involves browser support for International Domain Names (IDN), which allows non-ACSII characters to be used within a domain name.

For example, an attacker is able to replace the Latin "a" within a URL with a Cyrillic "a" and direct the user to a domain of their choice.

The vulnerability was first revealed several years ago but internet browsers have only just begun to implement support for IDN.

Internet browsers which currently support IDN include Firefox 1.0, Mozilla 1.6, Apple’s Safari 1.2.5, Opera 7.54, and OmniWeb 5. Microsoft’s IE does not support IDN so is not vulnerable.

For information on how to detect and prevent this type of phishing attack, go to:

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