Feeds

Hackers load malware onto Mercury music award site

Security nightmare for DreamHost

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Hackers have been able to load malware onto the official Mercury music awards site, as well as hundreds of other sites, after breaking into the systems of US-based hosting firm DreamHost.

DreamHost blamed a security flaw in its web control panel software for an attack that allowed hackers to compromise a "very small subset" of user accounts. Affected customers have been notified by email. DreamHost said only web content - not credit card or billing information - was compromised.

In a statement published Wednesday, DreamHost said: "The security flaw allowed the attackers to log into our customer web control panel with the access privileges of another user. From our web panel they were able to access individual user password information. The attackers also attempted to gain access to our central database and billing information but were ultimately thwarted in that attempt. No credit card information or customer personal information was obtained."

DreamHost takes care of more than 500,000 domains, according to the firm. An email sent by DreamHost to its customers on 5 June, said approximately 3,500 separate FTP accounts were compromised by the hack. DreamHost has advised its customers to change their FTP account passwords immediately. The firm has promised to update concerned punters about the steps it is taking to prevent a repetition.

News of the attack followed just hours after DreamHost said it had upgraded its WebFTP systems. The timing of this announcement suggests this was more likely to have been part of DreamHost's efforts to put its house in order rather than the cause of its problems.

UK-based web security firm ScanSafe, which has been monitoring the attack, said attackers used the insecure web controls at DreamHost to load Trojan downloader malware onto well known and trused sites. Confirmed targets of the attack include nationwidemercurys.com, the Mercury music awards site (which is sponsored by building society Nationwide), and UK law firm Clintons, whose clients include Paul McCartney, The Who, and U2.

ScanSafe said it first detected malware on the Clintons site on 1 June and on the Mercury site on 4 June, a few days before DreamHost published its alert.

Both the Clintons and Mercury sites exposed visitors via unknowingly hostile exploit code that attempted to take advantage of the well-known iFrame vulnerability in Internet Explorer in attempts to download Trojan horse malware onto the PCs of visiting surfers running vulnerable versions of Windows.

ScanSafe contacted both organisations to notify them of the threat. ®

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
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
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.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.