What is Clickjacking? How to Protect Your Business

Hackers use clickjacking to fool people into downloading malware or revealing confidential information. There’s usually a hidden frame over an innocuous web page. The malicious invisible frame gets activated when users click on the web page.

Sensitive data can be stolen and accessed, leading to reputational and financial damage for small businesses. There are even penalties under data protection laws like The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  A content security policy frame has some excellent safeguards.

What is Clickjacking?

One standard clickjacking method involves using a decoy button or link. The user believes they are clicking on what they see but interacting with a hidden malicious iframe. It could be sharing sensitive information or enabling a hidden webcam they don’t know about.

Common Types of Clickjacking Attacks

Here are some clickjacking attack tactics. 

A hacker overlays a transparent iframe over a web page in the classic version of clickjacking attacks.
Some iframes that get used are barely noticeable because hackers can set the opacity to zero on the target website.
Some clickjacking attacks can manipulate a cursor.
Some attackers offer a video or survey with a hidden video player that’s malicious underneath what looks like a benign user interface. An example of this can be seen in cases of Google publishers using clickjacking.

How Clickjacking Can Affect Your Business

This can lead to hackers getting access to sensitive business data. Stolen information can be used for identity theft or sold on the dark web. Understanding more about cybersecurity terms can be beneficial in recognizing and preventing such threats.

Severe Breaches

 Some other impacts on businesses include clickjacking as an entry point for even more severe breaches. Hackers can exploit click-jacking vulnerabilities to access business systems and send users to malicious pages.


 Clickjacking can erode the trust in a small business. There could be a corresponding decline in revenue and a spike in customer churn, plus a loss of reputation.

Recognizing Clickjacking

Here are a few things you should be looking for to recognize an attack.

If clicking on a landing page redirects you to a different site, triggers downloads or opens new tabs, you could be the victim of an attack.
Frequent pop-ups on a website could be another clear indicator.
It’s another red flag if your cursor is acting strangely like it’s misaligned.
 Poor website performance is another element you should be looking at. Unresponsiveness and slower load times can be the result.

Clickjacking Prevention Strategies

Here are a few proven methods to prevent this problem. Don’t forget the security policy frame enhances security.

The CSP is a security standard. Website owners who use it can tell which content is legitimate. It’s a great way to prevent an attack.
Software updates are essential. That’s particularly true for plugins and web browsers. Remember to include patches for any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited.
Remember to enable any built-in browser security features to protect against this issue.

Utilizing the X-Frame-Options Header

Frame-Ancestors Directive 

This controls which websites can embed content. Frame ancestors can list different domains that are allowed. It allows the resources that a browser can load for any given page.

X-Frame-Options Header

This tool can prevent click-jacking attacks by ensuring a page is not embedded into other websites. Developers can set it in their service configuration and or web application framework.

Updating and Patching Web Applications

Closing security gaps so you don’t visit malicious web pages through click-jacking is essential.

Regularly updating modern web applications and browsers to ensure security policy features are current is necessary.
Take advantage of software updates that include patches and update these regularly.

Conducting a Clickjacking Test

Performing a test to access a website’s vulnerability against attacks from invisible iframes means  taking advantage of the following guide:

You’ll need to understand the invisible iframe, which is one of the standard methods used.
 You can choose from several different test tools like OWASP.
Next, you can create a test page with an embedded iframe. There are automated scanners you can take advantage of, like OWASP ZAP.
 Documenting all of your testing processes, findings, and vulnerabilities is essential. Consider tweaking your x frame options.
 Remember to schedule regular tests. New vulnerabilities are constantly emerging with time.

AspectDescriptionPrevention StrategiesTools/Methods

DefinitionClickjacking is a deceptive technique where a user is tricked into clicking on something different from what the user perceives.Be aware of the nature of clickjacking and educate employees.Security Awareness Training

Common TargetsOften targets buttons, links on websites, and social media platforms.Regularly update and patch website and applications.Software Updates, Patches

TechniqueInvolves layering a transparent iframe over a legitimate button or link.Implement a Content Security Policy (CSP) to control what content can be loaded on a page.Content Security Policy (CSP)

Impact on BusinessCan lead to data theft, unauthorized actions, and security breaches.Conduct regular security audits and assessments.Security Audits, Risk Assessments

Signs of ClickjackingUnexpected redirects, strange cursor behavior, unresponsive or slow website performance.Monitor web traffic and user activity for anomalies.Traffic Monitoring Tools

Legal ConsequencesPossible non-compliance with data protection laws like GDPR due to data breaches.Ensure compliance with relevant data protection laws.Compliance Management Software

Clickjacking VarietiesIncludes cursorjacking, likejacking (on social media), and filejacking (file download manipulation).Deploy anti-clickjacking measures like X-Frame-Options header.X-Frame-Options Header, Anti-Clickjacking Tools

User Interface DefenseSecure the UI against unauthorized iframe overlays.Use frame busting scripts and ensure secure UI design.Frame Busting Scripts, Secure UI Design

Response to IncidentsQuick identification and isolation of affected systems.Have an incident response plan in place.Incident Response Plan

Long-term MitigationRegular updates to security policies and practices.Build a culture of cybersecurity awareness within the organization.Ongoing Employee Training, Policy Updates

Best Practices in Web Page Design to Prevent Clickjacking

Designing a landing page means utilizing X-frame options. There are three different values you can use for this header. ‘Deny’ ensures that the pages on your website can’t be displayed in an iframe. A good way to prevent a clickjacking attack.

The Content Security Policy (CSP)  allows you to make up a white list of sources you can download from, like images, style sheets and scripts.

Responding to a Clickjacking Incident

Here are the steps to take if your business is attacked.

An immediate response is essential where you identify and isolate what systems are affected.
 You need to disable and remove any malicious code and identify involved parties.
 Reset session tokens and change passwords.
 Patch up any vulnerabilities and implement updates to your web platform and software.

Over the long term, you need to update and implement a Content Security Policy and other headers like X-frame options.

Building a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness

Interactive training sessions are an excellent way to educate employees to prevent a clickjacking attack. Incorporate these sessions and others about cyber security threats into onboarding. 

FAQs: Clickjacking

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What is a likejacking attack?

This is a form of clickjacking where people are tricked into clicking the ‘Like’ button on Facebook or other social media platforms.

Is clickjacking serious?

This is serious because it can trick people into turning over confidential data or allow access to their devices.  

Can clickjacking affect all types of websites?

 Technically, this kind of attack can affect all types of websites. However, websites that implement content security policy headers, x-frame options headers and frame-busting scripts are less susceptible.

How to avoid visiting a malicious page?

Verify the URL before you click on it. Look for common tricks like misspellings or unusual domain extensions like .net instead of .com

Type the website address you want to visit in the address bar directly.

How do security policy frame ancestors help in clickjacking defense?

Content Security Policy has a frame-ancestors directive that controls the websites that can frame the content. It prevents hackers from using an iframe to mislead users.

Image: Envato Elements, Depositphotos

This article, “What is Clickjacking? How to Protect Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends