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Can Firesheep Plugin Be Used to Steal Domain Names?

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There’s an interesting article on TechCrunch about a new Firefox plugin called Firesheep that exploits some websites’ non-usage of the secure https for logins. The jist of it is that if you log in to a website that is known to Firesheep from an unsecured network (think a domain conference or a Starbucks), and someone has Firesheep installed, they can access your account.

According to the Firesheep website, it’s this easy:

  • After installing the extension you’ll see a new sidebar. Connect to any busy open wifi network and click the big “Start Capturing” button. Then wait.
  • As soon as anyone on the network visits an insecure website known to Firesheep, their name and photo will be displayed
  • Double-click on someone, and you’re instantly logged in as them.

Further, according to the TechCrunch article, a number of large websites have vulnerabilities: “to give you a sense of Firesheep’s scope, the extension is built to identify cookies from Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, Yelp.

eNom, Demand Media’s domain registrar and partner company of NameJet, is listed as a website whose cookies could be captured by Firesheep.

I don’t know if it would be possible for someone to log in on someone else’s account using the Firesheep plugin, but that’s what the article seems to imply. Perhaps there are other domain registrars that are vulnerable as well?

I sure hope domain registrars know about this plugin, and if not, I hope they learn about it quickly. I for one generally don’t log in to secure websites while at domain conferences or in public places, but when I do, I change my passwords quickly after.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (3)

    tricolorro

    “Perhaps there are other domain registrars that are vulnerable as well?”

    Elliot,
    According to the article the sites listed as vulnerable re “just the default setting” and other sites can be exploited because “anyone can write their own plugins”.

    There apparently has been an update after you first saw the article:

    “Update: A TechCrunch reader has discovered a Firefox extension that can prevent Firesheep from accessing your login information.”

    Info here:
    http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/25/firesheep/

    October 25th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Elliot

    @ tricolorro

    I saw the update, but 99.9% of people won’t download the other plugin to prevent it. I don’t really use Firefox anymore, so that plugin wouldn’t even work for me.

    October 25th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Aaron Krawitz

    I read the TechCrunch article and didn’t see the reference to eNom until you pointed it out. No more Starbucks wireless for me.

    October 25th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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