Feeds

Trend Micro gets slashed in attack of the killer iframes

Blush much?

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Trend Micro, please put down your bricks and step away from the glass house.

This week, researchers from the anti-virus provider uncovered at least two high-profile websites hacked so they try to infect visitors with some of the nastiest malware out there.

But as they were busy pointing out the attacks on web pages belonging to Swedish rock band The Hives and web blogs award site the Bloggies, nearly a dozen Trend Micro pages were busy trying to launch their own assaults, this Google search shows. The same malicious javascript at the heart of the Trend Micro attack had, at time of writing, managed to inject itself onto almost 23,000 pages in all.

"Unfortunately, safe surfing measures can be useless as even the most trusted Web sites can be hacked to serve up malware," Trend Micro's JM Hipolito wrote on Monday when analyzing the attack on the Bloggies. Evidently, he didn't know just how correct he was.

A Trend Micro spokesman said the malicious iframes have already been removed and that steps have been taken to prevent the injection from happening again. He didn't have additional details. Evidently, Trend Micro is more eager to expound on iframe injections when they happen to other companies' sites.

As we reported earlier today, the mass infection causes the once-benign sites to turn against their visitors by attempting to install password loggers, backdoors and other types of malware on their machines. The attacks appear to be the handiwork of a single criminal gang, according to McAfee researchers, who first discovered the cluster of hacked sites. They are part of a growing preference of miscreants to spread malware using legitimate websites that have been compromised rather than through destinations specifically set up for that purpose.

They are only one of a rash of mass infections making the rounds at the moment. Netherlands-based researcher Dancho Danchev has been closely following a separate group of attacks that have succeeded in getting Google and other search engines to return malicious results with the unwitting help of Wired.com and other popular websites. To boost their search ratings, these sites record terms entered into their search boxes by readers and store them in a place where Google bots can read them. By plugging in search phrases with toxic iframes into the popular sites, the attackers cause Google to spit out malicious links that appear to lead to trusted websites.

Add to that the attacks on websites belonging to The Hives (warning: the infection was still active at time of writing, so don't visit unless you know what you're doing) and the Bloggies (we didn't check), and it's obvious miscreants have seized on a strategy they like.

And it's not hard to understand why. If even security providers like Trend Micro (and a few months back, Computer Associates) can't protect their visitors from these assaults, chances are good that plenty of others can't either.

The Attack of the Killer iframes may not be much of a movie, but it's box-office success has all but guaranteed a string of sequels. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.