Feeds

Infection-by-cache risk unearthed

Caches give malware longer life

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Malware housed on storage and caching servers, such as those used by ISPs, enterprises, and leading search engines, continues to pose a risk after websites containing malicious code have been pulled.

So says web security firm Finjan, which warns that instead of pointing users towards sites hosting malware, hackers could try to dupe users into visiting contaminated caches. The trick might be used to foil URL filtering products, it says.

"This is more than just a theoretical danger," Finjan chief technology officer Yuval Ben-Itzhak said. "It is possible that storage and caching servers could unintentionally become the largest 'legitimate' storage venue for malicious code. Such 'infection-by-proxy' introduces new risks for businesses and consumers where trusted web addresses become a potential distributor of malicious code - making URL Filtering solutions blind."

Finjan has published obfuscated examples of malware found on storage and caching servers to support its claims.

One well-known hacking tactic involved breaking into vulnerable web servers to install Trojan downloader code, which often takes advantage of browser vulnerabilities to download malware onto target PC (examples here and here). Finjan's point is that users visiting a cached copy of such (potentially mainstream) sites would be infected even if the main site pulled the malware. Search engines are not doing enough to flush their caches, it warns."

Finjan has sent search engines and service providers technical details of its discovery, uncovered by Finjan's Malicious Code Research Centre (MCRC) during its quarterly security trends analysis, and is continuing its dialogue with these firms in the hope of nipping the problem in the bud.

Finjan's net security report, which also discusses the increased use by hackers of Web 2.0 technologies to upload malware and the illicit trade in exploit code, can be found here (registration required). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.