I actually had to read this email several times before I got it - paranoia taking over - I thought I was being told my site was hacked. No no, just another interesting way to abuse people that people find when visiting my site. This time, this email comes from Alex who found that pre-fetching can be used to phish users in certain circumstances.
When I’m visiting http://ha.ckers.org/blog/20070608/cross-domain-basic-auth-phishing-tactics/
my Firefox showed up the HTTP-Auth dialog immediately, which I placed on my subdomain testing.bitsploit.de But why I asked myself.
I looked into your HTML source to find a hidden image or something like this, but I didn’t found anything but the link. I haven’t clicked on the link, so why does it pop up ? Than I figured out, that the FasterFox-Extension for Firefox prefetches that link and that’s why the HTTP-Auth dialog pops up.
So there’s another chance to trick FasterFox-users (in forums) without having to use HTML/BBcode for embedding images.
Alex is absolutely right. In fact, this is the exact reason I never used to use Opera (it turns out this is not the same kind of prefetching that Opera does, I only just learned). Sure you can turn it off, but pre-fetching has always been a dangerous thing to me. It can speed things up because it pre-fetches and caches the results, but if it pre-fetches and triggers something, like auto-deletion of your account, or automatically adds something to a shopping cart or anything else, you run into some pretty serious problems. Think CSRF. So yes, this apparently can also be used for phishing in FasterFox. But either way, it’s a very cool example of why pre-fetching can be nasty.