Firesheep Sidejacking Privacy Alert

firesheep sidejacking

Firesheep Can Hack Your Social Media Accounts

What’s it take to hack your Facebook account, Twitter, or blog?

Not much.

Eric Butler has developed a tool that shows you exactly how vulnerable you are to having your accounts hacked by anyone using Firefox as a web browser and Butler’s new Firesheep plugin.

Known as “sidejacking” (a type of hijacking), here’s how it works…

You’re logged into your Facebook account at an unsecured WiFi location (like your local coffee shop). Someone with Firesheep installed is using the same WiFi.

Firesheep steals your Facebook user cookie and lets the “sidejacker” access your account as if he is actually you. This means posting on your account, changing your profile and passwords, sending messages to your Facebook friends, etc.

What Accounts Can Firesheep Access?

This isn’t picking on Facebook. The plugin was set up by default to work on many popular social media sites. Here are just a few of the default accounts the plugin can access.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • WordPress
  • Amazon
  • Dropbox
  • Bit.ly

And because it is open source, the plugin can be customized for sidejacking other sites too.

I do NOT recommend that you install the tool to sidejack into other people’s accounts at unsecured WiFi locations. That would be illegal.

However, if you want to see exactly how easy it is to steal your identity online, here’s where you can find the Firesheep plugin.

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and read Butler’s blog posts about Firesheep.

Protection Against Firesheep

What’s the solution? I’m now using virtual private networking (VPN) when out and about at unsecured WiFi locations.

Certified Computer Security Professional Tom Brownsword recommends using recommends installing the new BlackSheep Firefox plugin to counteract Firesheep.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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