Feeds

Iran president's weblog spews malware - false

Farsi-cal

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
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
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
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.