Feeds

Iran president's weblog spews malware - false

Farsi-cal

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Reports that the new website of the President of Iran is trying to install malicious scripts on the PCs of visiting infidels are almost certainly the result of a false alarm by security packages rather than a hostile attack.

The new weblog of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a splash in Western media when it launched earlier this week.

In the first posting on the site, the bricklayer-look-alike-turned-Persian-President talks about his early childhood in a village west of Tehran, his admiration for the leader of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and his antipathy for US foreign policy, particularly referencing the "Great Satan's" attempts to overthrow Iran's government and support for Israel. The weblog site - www.ahmadinejad.ir - is available in Farsi, Arabic, English and French and contains links for RSS fields as well as a picture gallery of the leader himself.

Commentators were quick to note the continuing internet censorship by the Iranian government, pointing to a recent campaign targeting dissident bloggers. Others pointed to the site's sloppy design which "failed all of the standard validation tests", The Telegraph notes.

Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger reports that browsing on the site generated a security alert from her Norton Internet Security software. Symantec's popular consumer security package reported that the site was attempting to exploit a vulnerability in Internet Explorer, as part of a potential malware attack, when Yael K, who maintain her own blog on immigrating to Israel, visited links from the President of Iran's website. She suggests the attack may be targeted specifically at surfers visiting the site from Israel.

Symantec is yet to respond to our requests for comment on the alert generated by its firewall software. But other security experts we asked found no evidence of malicious behaviour on the site.

"The most likely explanation is that there is some scripting on the site that, although not malicious, triggers an alert from Symantec's firewall software," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at UK-based net security firm Sophos.

"It is possible that malicious content has once been on the site, but has since been removed. It is also theoretically possible, though very unlikely in our opinion, that the malicious content targeted visitors from an Israeli address," she added. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.