Feeds

Kaspersky breach exposes sensitive database, says hacker

SQL injection said to strike deep

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A security lapse at Kaspersky has exposed a wealth of proprietary information about the anti-virus provider's products and customers, according to a blogger, who posted screen shots and other details that appeared to substantiate the claims.

In a posting made Saturday, the hacker claimed a simple SQL injection gave access to a database containing "users, activation codes, lists of bugs, admins, shop, etc." Kaspersky has declined to comment, but two security experts who reviewed the evidence said the claims appeared convincing.

"This looks very real to me," Thomas Ptacek, a researcher at security provider Matasano said via instant message a few hours after the post went live. He pointed to the address bar of one screenshot that showed usa.kaspersky.com along with the text "concat_ws(0x3a,ver" to the right of that. "It's a URL that is being used to alter the database request that's used to generate the page," he added. "One of them can be tricked into pulling arbitrary data from the database. Game over."

Roger Thompson, chief research officer at competing anti-virus provider AVG concurred. "/me feels sorry for Kaspersky," he wrote to El Reg. "Can't tell for certain, but it looks legit."

Screenshot of page showing hacked Kaspersky page

Representatives from Kaspersky declined to immediately comment.

"Given the hour, we are not able available to talk now, but I will work on answers for you to have early tomorrow," a spokeswoman wrote in an email sent Saturday evening California time, several hours after the post was made.

It claimed that a simple modification of a URL exposed the site's entire database. "Alter one of the parameters and you have access to EVERYTHING: users, activation codes, lists of bugs, admins, shot, etc." The screenshots showed the attack was focused on Kaspersky's technical support and knowledge base for the Americas. It included the names of more than 150 tables.

The URLs were edited to redact the page's vulnerable handler, but tools that are easy to come by could help anyone who knows how to use them to identify where the SQL injection weakness is located, Ptecek said.

Assuming the hack is for real, it wouldn't be the first time a Kaspersky site has been hit by a SQL injection attack. In July, Kaspersky's Malaysian site and several subdomains were defaced by hacker who left pro-Turkish slogans. According to ZDNet's Zero Day blog here, Zone-h archives show 36 website defacements of international Kaspersky sites since 2000.

This breach appears to be more serious because it potentially exposes customer information and could also open Kaspersky's site to other types of abuse, security experts said.

"I hope that Kaspersky administrators fix this vulnerability rather quickly as they no doubt have a large customer base, and it would appear that all those customers are now exposed," Gunter Ollmann, the chief security strategist at IBM's Internet Security Systems blogs here.

"On top of that, this type of critical flaw can probably be used to usurp legitimate purchases and renewals of their products - which could include the linking to malicious and backdoored versions of their software - thereby infecting those very same customers that were seeking protection from malware in the first place."

Stay tuned. The Register will be updating this story as warranted. Please contact us here if you have intelligence or insight into this story. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?