Feeds

Britney fears used as ANI exploit lure

Toxic

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Interest in troubled pop star Britney Spears is being used by hackers to trick surfers into visiting websites exploiting the Microsoft animated cursor vulnerability, the subject of a out-of-sequence patch by Microsoft on Tuesday.

Spammed emails are directing internet users to hacked PHP websites with the promise of candid pictures of the shaven-headed, crotch-flashing chanteuse. Net security firm Sophos reports that the "toxic" campaign campaign began on 30 March with just a link to a Russian website, which contained a script that pointed at a zero-day exploit of Microsoft's .ANI vulnerability.

At that point the email contained no graphics. Since then, the attack has evolved to feature an embedded image of the scantily clad pop star and links to a hacker website promising more explicit titillation in email messages with subject lines such as "Hot pictures of Britiney Speers".

Windows users are advised to patch their systems and to disregard unsolicited email messages in order to defend their PCs against this (and similar) attacks.

It's not the first time Britney has figured as the topic in malware-touting spam emails. An email aware worm, promising a glimpse of the pop princess, was released in February 2002. Other pin-ups like Halle Berry, Avril Lavigne and (most notoriously) Anna Kournikova have also featured as the topic of malware blitzes.

The cursor bug has been the subject of several malware attacks since first reports of the problem surfaced last week. The stack-based buffer overflow flaw allows hackers to inject hostile code into unpatched systems. Internet Explorer can process .ANI files in HTML documents, so web pages and HTML email messages are also vectors for the vulnerability.

Contrary to earlier reports, Firefox users might also be at risk of attacks exploiting the Windows animated cursor vulnerability. Mozilla technicians are working on a workaround, ZDnet reports. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.