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DOMtegrity: ensuring web page integrity against malicious browser extensions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ehsan Toreini, Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, Professor Feng Hao



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In this paper, we address an unsolved problem in the real world: how to ensure the integrity of the web content in a browser in the presence of malicious browser extensions? The problem of exposing confidential user credentials to malicious extensions has been widely understood, which has prompted major banks to deploy two-factor authentication. However, the importance of the “integrity” of the web content has received little attention. We implement two attacks on real-world online banking websites and show that ignoring the “integrity” of the web content can fundamentally defeat two-factor solutions. To address this problem, we propose a cryptographic protocol called DOMtegrity to ensure the end-to-end integrity of the DOM structure of a web page from delivering at a web server to the rendering of the page in the user’s browser. DOMtegrity is the first solution that protects DOM integrity without modifying the browser architecture or requiring extra hardware. It works by exploiting subtle yet important differences between browser extensions and in-line JavaScript code. We show how DOMtegrity prevents the earlier attacks and a whole range of man-in-the-browser attacks. We conduct extensive experiments on more than 14,000 real-world extensions to evaluate the effectiveness

Publication metadata

Author(s): Toreini E, Shahandashti SF, Mehrnezhad M, Hao F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Information Security

Year: 2019

Volume: 18

Pages: 801-814

Print publication date: 01/12/2019

Online publication date: 11/06/2019

Acceptance date: 11/06/2019

Date deposited: 12/06/2019

ISSN (print): 1615-5262

ISSN (electronic): 1615-5270

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


DOI: 10.1007/s10207-019-00442-1


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