Feeds

Phoenix Mars website invaded by hackers

Take me to your Web-app developer

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Add the webpages for the Phoenix Mars Lander to the list of high-profile sites that have been hacked by script kiddies. Not once, but twice.

Security pros had to take down the University of Arizona-hosted site after hackers replaced the lead blog entry with graffiti that read "hacked by VITAL." As if that wasn't enough, members of the self-declared "sql loverz crew" redirected baffled visitors of the Phoenix mission's official webpage and a companion site to a third-party destination. That page gave credit to hackers going by the names BLaSTER and Cr@zy_king.

Red is the color of the Martian surface, but it seems it also describes the faces of security pros responsible for the sites. Evidently, they had better things to do than vet their scripts for SQL-injection vulnerabilities. So these hackers were willing to step in and test the sites for them.

Not that these sites are by any means alone. Over the past few months, millions of webpages - some belonging to the US Department of Homeland Security, the United Nations and the UK Civil Service - have been hit by similar exploits. The attacks aren't the result of vulnerabilities in the database or web services software provided by Microsoft, Apache and others, but rather in the custom-made web applications built on top of them.

There are no reports that redirected visitors in this latest episode were exposed to links that attempted to silently install malware on their machines. But carrying out such malicious attacks would have been trivial for these hackers. We're wondering how much longer it's going to take the world's web developers to get on top of the SQL-injection epidemic that's sweeping the net.

In the meantime, we'll be hunkering down with the Firefox browser and the NoScript extension. It's not perfect, but in this environment of haphazard web security, it's essential. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.