Want to thwart hackers? Close other tabs if you have email open

There are a lot of small things you can do to keep hackers at bay. One involves the number of tabs you have open on your desktop. If you’re using email, make sure that all of your other tabs are closed. Otherwise, you risk having malware “jump” to your email system.

That can actually happen, says Tim Erlin, senior director of product management at Tripwire.com in Portland, Ore.

“Imagine that you have a two tabs open in your browser,” Erlin said. “One of them is to your email and you’re logged in. The other is to a different website containing malicious content. With a ‘cross-site request forgery’ vulnerability, the attacker can use the malicious content to make a request through your browser to your email, using the authenticated session you already have open. That would allow the attacker to, for example, request a list of all your contacts, or take other action on your account.”

Closing other tabs can be a drag. But think of the problems you could suffer if a hacker gets access to all of your contacts.”


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