Netcraft releases Heartbleed indicator for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
17th April, 2014
The Netcraft Extension: Heartbleed and phishing protection rolled into one
The Heartbleed bug affected around 17% of all trusted SSL web servers when it was announced a week ago. The critical vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library has the potential to allow attackers to retrieve private keys and ultimately decrypt a server's encrypted traffic or even impersonate the server. This is not a theoretical problem: practical attacks have actually succeeded in stealing private keys, yet despite the potential dangers, many of the affected sites have yet to take remedial action.
Even if heartbeat support has been disabled, or OpenSSL upgraded to the latest version, a website that was previously vulnerable to Heartbleed is not necessarily secure today. If the vulnerability had been exploited prior to the upgrade, the certificate's private key could have been compromised. If the certificate has not yet been replaced and the old one revoked, an attacker could impersonate the site and carry out man-in-the-middle attacks against the site's visitors.
Netcraft's updated extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera now allow you to see whether the sites you visit are still using potentially compromised certificates. The extensions use data from Netcraft's SSL Survey to determine whether a site offered the heartbeat TLS Extension prior to the Heartbleed disclosure. If this is the case, the extension will also check to see if the site's SSL certificate has been replaced; if it has not, then the site is considered to be unsafe, as the certificate's private key could have been compromised. Even if the certificate has been replaced, it does not guarantee that the site cannot still be impersonated with a copy of the old certificate unless the old certificate has been revoked – and even then, the revocation checking done by browsers is not infallible.
Go here to download the Netcraft Extension for Chrome, Firefox or Opera.
The extension will indicate when a site is potentially unsafe by displaying a bleeding heart icon. Additionally, in the Google Chrome and Opera versions of the Extension, a warning triangle will be displayed on top of the Netcraft icon.
As well as indicating which sites are using a certificate potentially compromised using Heartbleed, the Netcraft Extension also helps protect you from phishing attacks, displays the hosting location and risk rating of every site you visit, and lets you help to defend the internet community against fraudsters.
Netcraft's site report pages can also be used to determine whether a website might still be affected by the fallout from the Heartbleed bug. For example, our site report for https://www.linkedin.com shows that it no longer supports the TLS heartbeat extension and is using a new certificate.
In contrast, the site report for https://www.fedex.com currently shows that the server previously supported TLS heartbeat and the SSL certificate has not been replaced. Even though TLS heartbeat is now disabled, the certificate could still be used to impersonate the site if it had been compromised prior to heartbeat being disabled. Fedex's website is hosted by Akamai, a popular Content Distribution Network, which was potentially vulnerable to Heartbleed. Akamai is in the process of rotating its customers' SSL certificates and stated that "some require extra validation with the certificate authorities and may take longer".
Heartbleed indicator in the Netcraft Site Report
Posted by Paul Mutton in Netcraft Services, Security
Incentives for Phishing Site Reporters
14th November, 2013
We incentivise phishing reports from our community of reporters. The current list of prizes is as follows:
|Netcraft USB Flash Drive||after 100 validated phishing reports|
|Netcraft Mug||after 250|
|Netcraft Polo Shirt||after 500|
|Targus Laptop Backpack||after 1,000|
On reaching 5,000 validated reports you become eligible for a monthly competition to incentivise large reporters.
To report phishing sites to us, please use the form at https://report.netcraft.com, or forward any phishing URLs or emails you receive to email@example.com.
The Netcraft Extension, which is available for Firefox, Google Chrome™ and Opera, serves as a giant neighbourhood watch scheme for the Internet. Members who encounter a phishing site can act to defend the larger community of users against the attack. Once the first recipients of a phishing mail have reported the attack URL, it is blocked for community members as they subsequently access the URL. Widely disseminated attacks simply mean that the phishing attack will be reported and blocked sooner.
Posted by Jason Robins in Netcraft Services, Other, Security
Netcraft removes phishing attacks in less than half the industry average time
24th January, 2013
Netcraft’s phishing site countermeasures service helps organisations targeted by phishing attacks remove the fraudsters’ forms as quickly as possible.
Recently we became aware that our median times for takedowns are very much better than the industry average calculated by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) in its most recent Global Phishing Survey. The APWG found that phishing attacks have a median lifetime of 5 hours and 45 minutes. In contrast, banks and other companies using our countermeasures service have experienced a median phishing attack availability of 2 hours and 12 minutes calculated over our most recent 100 takedowns, with the attacks removed in just 38% of the industry average time.
The graph below shows the availability times of our most recent 100 phishing attacks.
The difference between the first and final outages reflect the fact that phishing attacks will sometimes fluctuate up & down on compromised hosts where the fraudster may still have access to the system and be able to replace his content after the site owner removes it. In this scenario it is important to continue monitoring sites for some time after they go offline and restart takedowns if & when the phishing content reappears. For example, 87% of phishing attacks we attended to had their first outage within 24 hours, and 90% had their final outage within 48 hours.
Takedown times do vary significantly from country to country. For example, all of our last 100 takedowns in the US were completed within three days, and 90% had their first outage within 12 hours. In contrast, takedown times in Russia are rather longer, albeit with 90% going down within three days, and 70% having their first outage within twelve hours.
Russia and the US are by no means the long and short of phishing attacks. Phishing attacks we dealt with in the UK & Ireland have a shorter median lifetime than those hosted in the US, whilst phishing attacks we have taken down in Iran have a median lifetime of just under 30 hours, around five times longer than Russia.
In addition to providing fast takedown of the fraudulent content, the countermeasures service is also linked to our phishing site feed, which is licensed by all of the main web browsers, together with many of the largest anti-virus and content filtering products, firewall and network appliance vendors, mail providers, registrars, hosting companies and ISPs. Consequently, as soon as the phishing attack is verified, access to it will be blocked for hundreds of millions of people shortly afterwards, significantly reducing the effectiveness of the attack even before it has been removed.
More information regarding our countermeasures service can be found here.
Posted by Feroz Salam in Netcraft Services, Security
Chrome version of Netcraft Anti-Phishing Extension Available
19th November, 2012
A version of the Netcraft Anti-Phishing Extension for the Google Chrome™ web browser is now available. The Netcraft Anti-Phishing Extension is a tool allowing easy lookup of information relating to the sites you visit and providing protection from Phishing.
The Extension runs on any operating system supported by Google Chrome and displays the hosting location, country, longevity, popularity, and an abstracted risk rating for each site visited. In particular its key features are:
- Detailed site reports — simply click the Netcraft logo to access a wealth of information about the sites you visit, helping you to make informed choices about their integrity.
- Risk Ratings — we evaluate the characteristics of the site compared against those depicted by fraudulent sites. The result is a simple visual summary displayed on the site report.
- Protection against phishing sites — The Netcraft anti-phishing community is effectively a giant neighbourhood watch scheme, empowering the most alert and most expert members to defend everyone within the community. As soon as the first recipients of a phishing mail report it, we can block it for all users of the extension providing an additional level of protection from Phishing.
- Protection against cross site scripting (XSS) — The extension optionally traps XSS and other suspicious URLs which contain characters with no purpose other than to deceive.
- Conveniently report suspected phishing & fraudulent sites — At the click of the button you can report suspected web forgeries to Netcraft, helping to protect the community. Netcraft operates an incentive scheme for Phishing site submissions, including iPads, backpacks, mugs, and more... Over five and a half million phishing sites have been detected and blocked by Netcraft since the anti-phishing service was launched.
The Extension is available for download from the Google Chrome Store, and requires no special administrator privileges to install. You can also find the Firefox version from our download page.
Customized versions with corporate branding and navigation are also available.
Posted by Michael Tremante in Netcraft Services, Security
Phishing attacks using HTML attachments
13th November, 2012
Netcraft has recently seen an increase in the number of phishing attacks using attached HTML forms to steal victims' credentials. This type of attack is not new - we have received reports of them from our phishing community since 2005 - but have become more popular amongst fraudsters during this year.
The attack works in a conventional way with the distinction that instead of linking to a form hosted on a web server, the form is attached to the mail.
A drop site phishing mail against Barclays customers asking the recipient to complete the attached form.
The form is hosted locally on the user's own computer.
Nevertheless these phishing attacks still have to send the sensitive data to the fraudster. This communication is usually done by sending a POST request to a remote web server, which then processes the information. This POST request can be detected and blocked, thus the user can still be protected. For example, a web browser, or a piece of security software or spam filter can use Netcraft's Phishing Site Feed to detect the phishing attack and block it.
The form posts the details to a remote web-server.
These phishing attacks are sometimes referred to as "drop site" phishing attacks. This is because the only publicly accessible URL is a page into which the victim's details are "dropped". Drop sites can be difficult to recognise without the accompanying phishing mail. Usually, the "drop" page just processes the victim's details and provides no indication as to its true nature. Some drop sites redirect to the target's real website. This merits suspicion for anti-phishing groups, but may not provide enough evidence for them to block the URL without the accompanying mail.
Without the accompanying mail, the drop site URL appears to just be a page that redirects.
Netcraft has recently made improvements to its detection and handling of drop sites, which should be reported to Netcraft by forwarding the original phishing mail, including the HTML attachment(s), to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of 1st November 2012, the Netcraft Toolbar community has blocked over 5.5 million phishing attacks. To provide an incentive for the community to continue sending Netcraft reports of phishing sites, Netcraft currently sends reporters the following:
|Netcraft Branded Mug||after 100 validated phishing reports|
|Netcraft Polo Shirt||after 400|
|Targus Laptop Backpack||after 1,000|
As a further incentive, reporters become eligible for a separate competition when they reach 5,000 validated reports. To track the progress, we have a leaderboard displaying the people with the largest number of accepted reports so far this month.
Posted by Vince Zarola in Netcraft Services
Phishing Alerts for Domain Registries
25th October, 2012
Monitor phishing within your top-level domains
While some registries still perceive phishing as a content issue for hosting companies and registrars, detailed knowledge of phishing activity within their Top Level Domain(s) is very beneficial for registries. It is a key data source for identifying problematic, negligent, or fraud-friendly registrars, and an essential tool for maintaining the reputation of a TLD.
It is common for hosting companies and domain registrars to unknowingly allow their infrastructure to be used for phishing. Even seemingly respectable companies may develop a reputation as a haven for fraud though some systematic deficiency in their working practices, such as a low level of resourcing for abuse related workflow (particularly outside core working hours and during weekends), or inexperienced or less capable staff being unable to recognise and act on fraudulent content.
The most prolific hosts of .net phishing sites, October 2012
Conversely, some criminal registrars and hosting companies specialise in hosting fraudulent content, and even go so far as to advertise their services as "bullet-proof". Bullet-proof hosting companies are typically based in jurisdictions where laws may be hard to apply, and being in an informed position to decline further business from these registrars may greatly aid operational efficiency.
Professionally validated feed, relied upon throughout the Industry
Netcraft's continuously updated, professionally validated phishing feed is used throughout the Internet Infrastructure industry. In addition to Internet registries, all of the main web browsers, along with major anti-virus companies, firewall vendors, SSL Certificate authorities, large hosting companies and domain registrars use Netcraft's feed to protect their user communities. Since Netcraft first launched its anti-phishing system in 2005, over 5.2 million unique phishing sites have been detected and blocked as of September 2012.
Reporting and Analysis
Reports can be refreshed hourly, and also trended over time periods of many months, with analysis by registrar, hosting company, name server, country or phishing target.
.net phishing sites by country, October 2012
When Netcraft validates a phishing report in your TLD, you can receive an alert and can also arrange for alerts to be passed through to registrars. Acting on these individual alerts will demonstrate that your top-level domains are not welcoming to fraud. Fraudsters adjust to these signals within a short period of time, and are themselves quite efficient at moving their operations away from parts of the DNS where they are clearly unwelcome.
A refreshable Excel spreadsheet includes details of the phishing sites under the .net TLD
Case Study - Nominet .uk
Nominet is the registry responsible for managing the .uk domain, which is one of the largest ccTLDs with over 10 million domains registered as of March 2012. Netcraft has provided Nominet with information on phishing using .uk domains since 2009, with alerts made available to individual registrars via an opt-in service.
Please contact us (email@example.com) for pricing or further details about any of our services.