Feeds

Mystery web attack hijacks your clipboard

No, Macs are not immune

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A new web-based attack is making the rounds that tries to spread poisonous links by hijacking end users' clipboards.

Forum discussions here, here, here, here and elsewhere all report the same thing: the commenter surfs to a seemingly legitimate site (MSNBC.com comes up more than once) and suddenly a malicious link is copied to the clipboard. The rogue link remains even after the user copies a new batch of text. The only way to remove it is to reboot the computer.

The attack has been reported by Firefox users running both OS X and Windows, but we wouldn't be surprised to hear that other browsers and operating systems are also vulnerable. It's unclear exactly how the attack spreads. The Spyware Sucks blog posits here that banner ads transmitting bad Adobe Flash code is responsible, and that makes sense to us.

If you've encountered this attack, please leave a comment below detailing exactly where you encountered it.

Those behind the attack appear intent on propagating a link (for the record, it's xp-vista-update.net, but we recommend staying away) that claims users' PCs are petri dishes hopelessly infected with malware unless they are immediately cleaned by a fraudulent anti-malware program. By permanently attaching the link to the clipboard, attackers are betting the user will paste it in emails, blog posts or directly into a browser's address bar.

Attacks like these are another reason why running the NoScript extension on Firefox makes a lot of sense. It's not perfect, but it can insulate you from a huge amount of the attack code floating around on the web. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.