Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick Hit: Firesheep

By now, probably everyone's already heard of firesheep, the nice user-friendly way to use cookies to do session hijacking. Want to be logged in as someone else on Facebook? No problem.

It's nothing spectacular on a technical level, since it's been easy enough to use other people's cookies for quite some time, but it's a pretty impressive social hacking tool. It's making it clear to a lot of people (and media) that this is a real problem, and that it's an exploit anyone can do now.

I'm actually sort of surprised that I haven't seen this earlier: it used to be a bit of a game in the undergrad lounge to see what one could sniff off the network, with people using some tool whose name I've forgotten to show any images that came up from users surfing on the wireless. Hacking session cookies would have been a fun addition to our childish games -- and I'll bet plenty of college kids are using it for just that. Or for checking out their ex-boyfriends/girlfriends...

No comments: