Feeds

Root kit surfaces after Jabber attack

Open source code jockeys urged to check code

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.