Feeds

Drive-by download attack mows down thousands of websites

Chinese crackers pwn Warcraft gamers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.