Firefox Browser Console provides valuable hints on Phishing Sites

11 July 2015

When a serious company requests login data the network connection is always secured. Clear indicator of a secured network connection is that the URL starts with the https protocol. In addition, the certificate information besides the URL provides reliable information about the company and the site which runs the service.

Secure Connection Indicators

Secure Connection Indicators

The missing https protocol and certificate information in phishing URLs like http://videoservicesmiami.com/bolu/HOTMAILFILES/HOTMAILFILES/login.srf.htm is a clear indicator that someone tries to trick you.

Firefox Browser Console is a useful little helper in identifying phishing sites. Programmers use an input box of type password when they ask for a password. With this the Firefox programmers defined a simple rule:

Password fields present on an insecure (http://) page are a security risk.

When Firefox loads a phishing site the code on the site is inspected. Firefox detects an input box of type password and outputs a warning on the Browser Console because the network connection is not secured:

Firefox Browser Console Security Warning

Firefox Browser Console Security Warning. Click to enlarge.

I would appreciate it if the Firefox programmers would warn the users with a message box of such security risks, and block loading of such sites. This would be a great step forward because malicious URLs are often difficult to recognize in emails.

Take care!

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