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Scareware runs amok on PlayStation site

Sony gamed by hackers

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Gamers visiting the US Sony PlayStation website risk malware infection after the site was hit by hackers.

SQL injection vulnerabilities on the site were used by miscreants to load malicious code on pages showcasing the PlayStation games SingStar Pop and God of War, net security firm Sophos reports. The code promotes scareware to visitors, which falsely claims that their computers are infected with computer viruses to frighten them into purchasing software of little or no security utility.

Sophos warns that the same technique might easily be adapted to serve up computer Trojans or other forms of malware. Sophos informed Sony of the website vulnerabilities, which were purged by Thursday morning.

The attack is the latest in a wave of SQL injection attacks that have turned the websites of legitimate organisations into conduits for drive-by download assaults. Recent victims have included the website of tennis regulators ITF and ATP, the professional players tour and Wal-Mart. Large-scale SQL Injection attacks starting around October 2007 have hit a large number of small sites as well as high-profile targets.

Hackers use automated tools and search engines to search for vulnerable sites. Once identified these sites are booby-trapped with exploits designed to push malware onto vulnerable PCs.

The growing scale of the problem prompted HP and Microsoft to publish a set of tools designed to help web admins to identify and plug security holes that often lead to SQL Injection attacks. ®

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