Feeds

Hackers scalp Apache

SSH hits the fan

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The website of Apache was taken offline for several hours on Friday after the SSH remote administration key on one of its servers was compromised.

SSH is a widely used technology for remote administration, so in the worst scenario the compromise created a means for hackers to upload Trojanised code onto the download section of Apache's website. Around 50 per cent of webservers run Apache, according to the latest stats from Netcraft, so any problem would be extremely widely felt.

It's unclear at present whether any code on the Apache website was actually modified. Nor do we know how the attack was carried out or who was behind it.

Apache's web site was restored after DNS records were changed so that servers based in Europe rather than at the main US site were carrying the load.

Rik Ferguson, a security researcher at Trend Micro, notes that the same type of compromised SSH key problem led to attacks that attempted to install rootkits on Linux based systems in August 2008.

Screenshots of Apache's statement on the incident, since removed, have been preserved for posterity in a blog posting by Trend Micro here and F-Secure here. ®

Bootnote

Reg reader Jack C told us on Thursday that http://httpd.apache.org/ was giving a directory listing where the index page should be. We saw this but didn't think much of it at the time. Friday's SSH glitch potentially casts this incident in a new light.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
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
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
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
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.