Feeds

Trend Micro gets slashed in attack of the killer iframes

Blush much?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.