Feeds

Iran president's weblog spews malware - false

Farsi-cal

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
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

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.