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    TechCrunch: Firesheep In Wolves’ Clothing: Extension Lets You Hack Into Twitter, Facebook Accounts Easily

    TechCrunch reports on a new browser extension that could be used to easily take over you Twitter or Facebook account (and others, as well):

    It seems like every time Facebook amends its privacy policy, the web is up in arms. The truth is, Facebook’s well publicized privacy fight is nothing compared to the vulnerability of all unsecured HTTP sites — that includes Facebook, Twitter and many of the web’s most popular destinations.

    Developer Eric Butler has exposed the soft underbelly of the web with his new Firefox extension, Firesheep, which will let you essentially eavesdrop on any open Wi-Fi network and capture users’ cookies.

    As Butler explains in his post, “As soon as anyone on the network visits an insecure website known to Firesheep, their name and photo will be displayed” in the window. All you have to do is double click on their name and open sesame, you will be able to log into that user’s site with their credentials. […]

    This is how it works. If a site is not secure, it keeps track of you through a cookie (more formally referenced as a session) which contains identifying information for that website. The tool effectively grabs these cookies and lets you masquerade as the user.

    Apparently many social network sites are not secured, beyond the big two, Foursquare, Gowalla are also vulnerable. Moreover, 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. And that’s just the default setting— anyone can write their own plugins, according to the post.

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