Tabnabbing & Clickjacking on, Clickjacking on Steemit registration page

in #security6 years ago (edited)

In two of my recent articles I tested the security of Steemit and other social media platform from a point of view of Tabnabbing and Clickjacking:

The conclusion of both tests on was that Steemit is quite robust. After that though I find out of the existence of and.. drumroll... it's vulnerable to both attacks!

  • Tabnabbing

steemit chat - tabnabbing too.png

As you can see in the screenshot, links posted in the channels use target="_blank" in order to be opened in a new tab but no rel attribute is present to block Tabnabbing.

If you want to exploit the vulnerability for testing purposes in your browser you can simply replace the href of an existing link posted in the chat to point at (eg. Chrome Developer Tools -> Edit as HTML).

As you can see, after clicking on the link and opening my Github Page, after a couple of seconds the Steemit chat page is replaced by a trivial phishing page (just a screenshot of the Facebook login page).
Clearly posting the link on the chat would have the same result.

This attack works on all major browsers.

The phishing page may simply use a keylogger to steal your credentials. Example in javascript:


  • Clickjacking

steemit chat - iframe login.png

As you can see in the screenshot, the current URL in the browser is but the browser displays a full page login of That's achieved simply using an iframe that points to In this case the iframe has been added on client site but in a real scenario it would be injected on a vulnerable page (eg. XSS) or used in a page with a similar URL (eg. and fake input fields would be overlapped over the real credentials fields.

PS. Also Steemit registration page is vulnerable to Clickjacking!

registration page.png


See my previous articles on Tabnabbing and Clickjacking.
In a nutshell:

  • Tabnabbing: on every anchor that uses target="_blank" add the rel attribute set to "noreferrer nofollow noopener" or in alterantive launch links in new tabs only through a temporary iframe.
  • Clickjacking: your server has to return the header X-FRAME-OPTIONS set to DENY so that browsers will refuse to render your website inside an iframe.

I have a mixed feelings about this post.
It's great that you pay attention.
It's great that you are notifying us about issues you've found.
No doubt about that.
Now... the title is more like a clickbait attack about clickjacking attack ;-) Think about it again. It's not that "Steemit registration page and are unsafe", (that's why I'm restraining from upvote), lets be clear here:
There's lack of certain features preventing users from shooting themselves in the foot and given possible attack vectors that's really a minor flaw.
Of course such things should be fixed, there's no reason to make bad guys life easier.
X-FRAME-OPTIONS on is already set to DENY, however, that looks like some more complex design flaw that might impact certain use case scenarios... hopefully not.
As for rel attribute, I think (not sure) that there was some regression here recently. Anyway I encourage you to make a PR against the repository through utopian (see my last post on that).

Sure, I can change the title. I thought it needed some visibility.
Regarding the pr I guess I'm done working for free.. ;)


There's lack of certain features preventing users from shooting themselves in the foot

  • IMHO it's a lack of protection from attack vectors. The user could be tricked (trough social media, emails, etc) into a phishing page either through clickjacking of the chat login page (or steemit registration page) or tabnabbing - opening links in the chat and being presented with a fake login page when returning to the previous tab.

X-FRAME-OPTIONS on is already set to DENY

  • when I wrote the article was vulnerable to Clickjacking (see screenshot in my post), now it's not. I assume that X-FRAME-OPTIONS was added after reporting it? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Sure, I can change the title.

Thank you :-)

Regarding the pr I guess I'm done working for free.. ;)

That's where utopian can help :-)

Ok, interesting. I'll take a look thanks :)

Wow, looking at your wallet (~400K $) it may be worth it.. :D

PS. utopian too is vulnerable to Clickjacking
(now reported)


I think it is better to expose these things and get them fixed ASAP rather than keep them to yourself or try reporting them to someone who won't listen. Some of the best ways to resolve something quickly is to make it public knowledge.

I could call the city or township every day for a month about some pot holes and see nothing get done. If I went to the local news station, they'd have a truck out there with asphalt patch for the news van to see them laying it down.

many many thanks to aware us about this issue

Thanks for resteeming :D

interesting article, thanks for the info

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