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Geolocation spoofing and other UI woes
From: Michal Zalewski <lcamtuf () coredump cx>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:43:39 -0700


This may be of some interest to people on the list:


In general, there is a class of UI design problems that trace back to
the failure to account for the inherent limitations of human
cognition; the specific example exploited by this PoC is the HTML5
geolocation API (supported by most browsers except for Internet
Explorer); calls to navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition() result
in prompts that can be clicked in a timeframe shorter than the minimal
latency required to respond to visual stimuli. A whimsical
Firefox-specific PoC is:


I reported a number of flaws similar to this one between 2005 and 2007
(e.g., https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=376473); but it
seems that these problems remain endemic to security UIs across all
browsers; and the previously implemented workarounds are sometimes
removed as a perceived usability roadblock. We probably need to do
better, especially as computers get faster; this would not have been
nearly as much of an issue ten years ago.

Oh well. I have a nice batch of more serious problems in the pipeline,
but still waiting on vendors, so that's it for now :-)


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