Feeds

Infection-by-cache risk unearthed

Caches give malware longer life

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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). ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.