And you thought us sheep were only good for getting off to sleep or warm pullovers huh? Guess again, the new Firefox plugin Firesheep, reveals the not so soft underbelly of my wool encased brethren folks. What’s the harm in a browser plugin you ask? Try all your passwords at the click of a mouse button. A wake up call for security conscious peeps everywhere, Firesheep is a waiting nightmare.
As everyone begins to find out, of course the new plugin is a trend on Google and Twitter, but developer Eric Butler created this “side-jacking” WiFi wonder to open your Facebook info primarily. The extension works by collecting user information and then conveniently showing it in a Firefox window; Firesheep just allows accounts to be taken over – how’s that for diabolical?
But just like all of you out there probably think us sheep or mutton headed idiots, your ideas of our Internet evil plan here are wrong too. Wonder boy Butler actually created this FF extension to prove a point – and in the end help everyone’s privacy. Yep, you read it right, someone actually posing in a wolf’s clothing only to be revealed as – none other than – a sheep.
Butler points out that websites go a long way in protecting logins, but take very few steps to protect everything else. As evidenced by YOU freaking out and reading this article. Guess what? Facebook and Twitter are not alone in their protective apapthy either. Cookies from Amazon.com, Basecamp, Cisco, CNET, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, Windows Live, The NY Times, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo and about a zillion others can be collected automatically by the plugin.
Now how long do you think it will take these and other sites to hop in there and ramp up to secure your information? For Eric Butler all we can say is “bravo” for waking up the lethargic. As for your Facebook and other accounts, we suggest not logging in unless you are sure no one is using the technology to be you. My bet is Facebook won’t ignore their responsibility very long. If they do it could be baaaaaaaaaaaaad for business. Hmm. A sheep in wolf’s clothing! Is that like the same thing as a Trojan Horse?
Featured firesheep image courtesy MyBlackSheep.