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DOMtegrity: Ensuring Web Page Integrity against Malicious Browser Extensions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Information Security
DateAccepted/In press - 27 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 11 Jun 2019
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1-14
Early online date11/06/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this paper, we address an unsolved problem in the real world: how to ensure the integrity of the web content in a browser in the presence of malicious browser extensions? The problem of exposing confidential user credentials to malicious extensions has been widely understood, which has prompted major banks to deploy two-factor authentication. However, the importance of the `integrity' of the web content has received little attention. We implement two attacks on real-world online banking websites and show that ignoring the `integrity' of the web content can fundamentally defeat two-factor solutions. To address this problem, we propose a cryptographic protocol called DOMtegrity to ensure the end-to-end integrity of the DOM structure of a web page from delivering at a web server to the rendering of the page in the user's browser. DOMtegrity is the first solution that protects DOM integrity without modifying the browser architecture or requiring extra hardware. It works by exploiting subtle yet important differences between browser extensions and in-line JavaScript code. We show how DOMtegrity prevents the earlier attacks and a whole range of man-in-the-browser (MITB) attacks. We conduct extensive experiments on more than 14,000 real-world extensions to evaluate the effectiveness of DOMtegrity.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2019

    Research areas

  • web security, integrity, browser extension, Network Security, man-in-the-browser, MITB

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