How to Prevent Clickjacking from Taking Down Your Website

· Read in about 5 min · (1030 Words)

How to Prevent Clickjacking from Taking Down Your Website

One common thread among many cyberattacks (and part of what makes so many of them so insidious) is that their goal is to deceive the target. They attempt to gain a user's trust using social engineering, only to download malicious software onto that system then. Clickjacking is a type of attack that falls under this category. It has the potential to do untold damage to your website and potentially to your website's visitors (your future and existing customers).

Let's take a closer look at this deceptive online practice, how malicious actors can pull it off, and what you can do about it to ensure it never impacts your website.

What is clickjacking?

Clickjacking is a type of cyber-attack where a user receives a communication with a hidden webpage element that's either not visible or posing as another element. Once the user clicks it, the bad code goes to work. It can lead the user to receive malware or send them to malicious websites. It can also prompt them to unknowingly transmit sensitive data like their credentials, their bank account information, or even shop online without knowing it.

There are different forms of clickjacking as well. For example, in relation to social media, there's something called "likejacking." That's a form of clickjacking where users will unintentionally "like" a Facebook page they didn't choose to like. Another form is called "cursorjacking." This manipulates the user's cursor and causes the system to think it's in a different position than it is actually in.

What happens once a website malware infection implements clickjacking hacks?

So what should you expect from a clickjacking attack when it does happen? There are several different ways it may look, depending on the type of malicious actor or code used to exploit your system's vulnerability.


For one example, let's say your website has a form and submit button. A hypothetical clickjacking scheme could install injected malware in an iframe behind that form on your site. It could include a "transfer order" button that then loads a transfer page tapping into bank funds. It would essentially force users looking to submit the form to directly send funds with a click of that hidden transfer order button.

Redirection malware

Another scenario is when your website may get infected with redirection malware. This type of malware automatically redirects your website's visitors to another site. This other site can then tap into social engineering techniques (i.e. offering free giveaways that appeal to the visitor) to draw those visitors in even further. The malware can provide the visitor with a form that prompts them to provide information in order to go back to your website. While this seems legitimate to the end-user, it's anything but. The malicious actor could insert the bank transfer form behind the email form (as was described in the scenario above) so that the visitor provides their bank information when they really think they're headed back to your website. The visitor may in fact go back to your website, but not before they've given their sensitive financial data up.

goes without saying that clickjacking is a problematic practice. It can seriously compromise the security of your website visitors' personal information. While it's bad enough that your website visitors will have to deal with the unfortunate consequences of falling prey to malware, there's another pitfall as well. You'll begin to lose their trust in your website, losing visitors in the interim. That's why it's integral to take steps to secure your visitors' time on your site.

How do you protect your visitors?

How to Prevent Clickjacking from Taking Down Your Website

While clickjacking seems scary at first, there are preventative measures you can take to safeguard your visitors while they use your site. You'll want to enable a feature known as "X-Frame Options" to help combat clickjacking. So what exactly is "X-Frame Options (or XFO)?" It's an HTTP security header that informs your browser how it should respond when dealing with your website's content.

XFO protects against clickjacking by not enabling a page to render within either a frame, an iframe, or an object on your site. An iframe embeds another website's (i.e. third party) content onto another website. For example, widgets such as social media buttons, audio/video players, and external ads are all examples of iframes. If compromised, these buttons can be ripe for clickjacking. XFO helps prevent this vulnerability, halting the attempted attack.

Of course, even with your best efforts in place, sometimes it's just too late to catch malware before it's been installed. So what do you do if you suspect your site is infected?

How to detect a malware infection on your website

The key to protecting your website and, in turn, your visitors, from falling prey to a malware attack? Constant vigilance. By regularly performing tests on your system, you'll be able to tell when your site is infected with malware. It's never fun to get notifications like this, but if your site is infected, you'll want to know. That way, you can take the action needed to prevent it from negatively impacting any of your visitors. The trick is to partner with the right platform that can effectively scan your system and then provide actionable diagnoses for you to implement. Enter the ThreatSign! platform.

With ThreatSign! platform services, you can perform periodic scans of your website for malware and enable a web application firewall (WAF) to protect your website from potential infection. ThreatSign! and its comprehensive monitoring system will provide you with a thorough scrub, alerting you to any issues that require your immediate attention. Think of it as maintenance for your website. Just as you wouldn't go too long without bringing your car to a mechanic for an oil change, performing regular scans of your website will keep it operating smoothly.

ThreatSign Website Protection can help you prepare for and respond to malware attacks. Regularly monitoring your system isn't a luxury, it's a necessity if you want to avoid the costly aftereffects of a malware incident. With ThreatSign!, you can ensure your website's visitors can come to your website without the fear of a clickjacking attack. For more on how we can help protect your website's visitors, reach out to us today.