Feeds

Root kit surfaces after Jabber attack

Open source code jockeys urged to check code

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) - the open source instant messaging organisation - has advised developers to check their code, after discovering that a hack attack against its website was more serious than first suspected.

An audit conducted on JSF's web servers after an intrusion two weeks ago revealed a root kit on a machine hosting both the jabber.org website and the JabberStudio service. Subsequent investigations revealed the machine (hades.jabber.org) had been compromised for more than a year. The affected machine has been rebuilt and fully locked down.

Dynamically generated pages were disabled on the site and the JabberStudio service was temporarily suspended as a precaution after JSF detected the January assault. JSF Executive Director Peter Saint-Andre said in a recent update that Jabber.org will restore its website to normal operation when it is satisfied that there is no security risk.

Developers are urged to validate their code as a precaution. However, evidence suggests that other servers in the jabber.org infrastructure (such as the production Jabber server or the mailing list server) were unaffected by the security breach. Neither does much mischief seem to have been perpetrated against the compromised server.

It's rare, but not unprecedented, for malicious hackers to load backdrops onto the web servers of application developers. Crackers owned the primary file servers of the GNU Project for five months in 2003, the Free Software Foundation admitted.

In May 2001, infamous cracker Fluffy Bunny bragged that he had compromised the systems of the Apache Project. In October 2000, Microsoft's systems were comprehensively compromised by a cracker using the QAZ Trojan. Weeks later, Microsoft's core websites were again 0wn3d in an attack that went beyond the usual web page defacement. ®

Related stories

Jabber Inc frees IM add-ons
Jabber builds IM bridge to SMS chat rooms
Jabber Speaks
GNU servers owned by crackers for months

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.