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Texas National Guard site disappears after malware attack

The $50 exorcism

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The website for the Texas National Guard remained unreachable on Friday, two days after security researchers said it had been hacked by miscreants who were using it to install malware on the PCs of visitors.

On Wednesday, Roger Thompson, chief research officer of anti-virus provider AVG, reported that selected pages on the site were attempting to install a rootkit on machines that were not fully patched. The ruse starts by silently redirecting visitors to a site called add-block-plus.net, which in turn bounces visitors to several other sites. In the end, visitors who are vulnerable get a demand to cough up $50 in order to exorcise the demons.

The attack comes as the Texas National Guard responds to Hurricane Ike, which earlier this week ravaged the gulf coast of Texas. Someone answering the guard's public affairs line said the person responsible for the website was busy with relief efforts.

According to Sophos researchers here, the Texas National Guard is only one of many sites to be hit in the attack. The malware residing on the site is detected as Mal/ObfJS-A. ®

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