Last updated on September 17th, 2020 at 08:39 pm


Guest writer Kevin Gardner gives a quick overview of what CSS attacks are and how to help prevent them.

Computer hacker breaking the software

This post is a guest submission. Please see our Affiliate Disclosure & Notification for details.

Cyber security is a concern for just about everyone these days and knowing what threats are out there is a good first step towards defending yourself, your website and your data. Did you know the very CSS that makes your website look good, might be an attack vector for hackers?

Whether you are looking into cyber security as the owner of a website or as an internet user, there are some basic defensive questions that you will need answered. The more you understand how the attacks work and what is out there to help you defend yourself, the easier it will be to avoid a breach of your data.

How Do CSS Attacks Work?

Cascading style sheets (CSS) is the language of the internet. Nearly every website uses this computer language, making it easy for web developers and users alike to make changes to the design and content of a website. Some tools such as Elementor Pro, are making it easier than ever to build your website without having to write and check every line of code yourself. This can give you a better control of your website’s aesthetic without as much time and effort put into the actual coding.

Unfortunately, the universality of CSS means that hackers can take advantage of it to get into your website, change the layout, and even steal data. This is because for providers such as Firefox and Chrome to block CSS attacks, they would also have to block valid website code updates from developers. For users, this type of block may look like needing an extra level of verification to log in to sensitive information or some website features being slower to load than others.

What Resources Are Available To Websites?

Since CSS attacks are known to exist, there are people working on resources and solutions to help protect against them. By developing your web applications while using some form of security development lifecycle, you can reduce your vulnerability to this type of attack.

You can also make use of a secure encoding library depending on the form and function of your site. It is a good idea to check on a regular basis for more updated resources as this is still a new problem with solutions in development.

How Users Can Defend Themselves?

Internet users can defend themselves by ensuring that they have browser plug-ins designed to help minimize this kind of attack. It is also a good idea to have two-step verification for sensitive accounts such as banking information and social media. This will help ensure that it is you logging into those accounts and not a CSS attack.

Since many hackers will come at your banking information from shopping websites, you can also make sure that you do not save your card numbers to those accounts as well as check on what types of encryption those companies use. You can even find tools to help you test your browser’s vulnerability and boost the security.

Why Is Timing Important?

When it comes to cyber security in general and CSS attacks in the specific, timing is everything. As the defenses against this type of attack are more thoroughly developed, hackers will be developing new ways around security and into sensitive data. This means that checking back in on your favorite developers and relevant news websites can help you keep up with the newest methods of defending yourself and your customers from cyber crimes.

It is a good idea to get into a habit of scanning for new information on a regular basis as well as test your defenses against the newest attacks.

Web development is a quickly growing field with several different tricks, techniques and tools available to take a website to the next level. Between designing the perfect online presence for a company and protecting data, however, there is a vulnerability that hackers have been starting to take advantage of. By using the most common coding language, cascading style sheets, hackers can attack in many ways. The good news is that defenses are available for both website owners and users with more in the works.

Business Consultant at InnovateBTS

Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. He shares his knowledge and expertise not only with his clients but with his fellow bloggers and readers.

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