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.