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Turkish s'kiddies deface security forum

F-Secure scalped

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Turkish hackers last week succeeded in defacing a security discussion forum established by web security firm F-Secure.

The digital graffiti attack was of little importance, but no less embarrassing for F-Secure despite its triviality.

"The server itself is quite well hardened, but the web forum software had an unannounced security patch silently released by the vendor nine days ago," a posting on F-Secure's security blog explains.

The developers behind Snitz released a security package on 1 December only to withdraw it before re-releasing it on 4 December.

"We immediately implemented the patch. However, what we didn't know at the time was that a discussion was ongoing in the development forum. Not only was an improved fix recommended but there was also discussion that potential extensions to the forum might be vulnerable as well," F-secure said. "Turns out that's exactly what happened to us. While the main forum itself was patched it was the private messaging module that made the defacement possible," it added.

Hackers learned of the vulnerability in the Snitz Forums 2000 forum software used by F-Secure and others. They then searched the web for vulnerable sites, finding a tempting target when they discovered the Finnish anti-virus firm's site was yet to be upgraded. The Turkish Nationalist defacers subsequently changed the front page of hackable forums to their "greeting".

F-Secure took the forum offline following the discovery of the hack on Thursday. It has since rebuilt the forum. ®

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