A Italian computer security researcher has found a flaw in Internet Explorer browser including IE9 on every version of the Windows operating system that he said could let hackers steal credentials to access FaceBook, Twitter and other websites.
"Any website. Any cookie. Limit is just your imagination," said Rosario Valotta.
Hackers can exploit the flaw to access a data file stored inside the browser known as a "cookie," which holds the login name and password to a web account. Once a hacker has that cookie, he or she can use it to access the same site, said Valotta, who calls the technique "cookiejacking."
To exploit the flaw, the hacker must persuade the victim to drag and drop an object across the PC's screen before the cookie can be hijacked.
Microsoft said there's little risk a hacker could succeed in a real-world cookiejacking scam.
"Given the level of required user interaction, this issue is not one we consider high risk," said Microsoft spokesman Jerry Bryant.
"In order to possibly be impacted a user must visit a malicious website, be convinced to click and drag items around the page and the attacker would need to target a cookie from the website that the user was already logged into," Bryant said.