Feeds

Drive-by download attack mows down thousands of websites

Chinese crackers pwn Warcraft gamers

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Miscreants are exploiting website vulnerabilities to booby-trap thousands of legitimate sites.

The mass attack, thought to be the work of hackers based in China, hit between 2,000 and 10,000 Western servers at the end of last week alone, Russian net security firm Kaspersky Labs reports. Most of the hacked sites run Microsoft ASP technology and are thought to have been hit either using SQL injection attacks or using stolen site admin login credentials.

SQL injection attacks against vulnerable webservers have become a frequent tactic in malware distribution over the last two to three years. The latest assault is smaller in scale than previous attacks, some of which has claimed over a million sites. But it is still noteworthy, not least because of concerns it may get bigger.

Kaspersky reports that the crackers are adding a JavaScript tag to the html of hacked sites. This causes surfers visiting the site to pull content from one of six gateway sites, which redirect to a server hosting malware located in China.

A range of exploits are hosted on this site designed to take advantage of recently patched flaws in IE, Macromedia Flash Player, Microsoft's notoriously wobbly ActiveX technology, and (unusually) Firefox.

These various vulnerabilities are in turn being used to push Trojan downloader code onto the PCs of surfers who stray onto compromised websites. The end goal of the attack is to load backdoor code onto Windows Pcs in order to steal World of Warcraft login credentials or to plant other forms of spyware and Trojans.

As with previous, similar drive-by download-style attacks the compromise sites are typically legitimate mainstream sites. So staying away from smut and warez is not enough to avoid harm. Keeping up to date with patches is the best defence. Users should update their applications as well as keep up to date with Microsoft's security releases. Tools such as Secunia's Software Inspector can help with this irksome task. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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
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
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.