Feeds

Attacks spread malware with help from AppleInsider

And lawyers.com. And many more

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Malware purveyors are exploiting web vulnerabilities in appleinsider.com, lawyer.com, news.com.au and a dozen other sites to foist rogue anti-virus on unsuspecting netizens.

The ongoing attacks are notable because they use exploits based on XSS, or cross-site scripting, to hide malware links inside the URLs of trusted sites. That's something application security expert Mike Geide doesn't see often. As a result, people who expect to visit sites they know and trust are connected to a page that tries to trick them into thinking their computer is infected.

"What's interesting ... is the fact that it's embedding iframes to redirect people," Geide, who is a senior security researcher at Zscaler, told The Register. "Typically, cross-site scripting is just that - it embeds script tags so it will embed javascript to run."

The malicious links are blasted out on web forums and typically look something like:

hxxp://lawyers.com/find_a_lawyer/content_search/results.php?sCHRISTINA%AGUILERA%20ANOREXIC%20PICS%3C%2F%74%69%74%6C%65%3E%3C%69%66%72%61%6D%65%20%73%72%63%3D%2F%2F%61%73%6B%35%2E%65%75%3E

The last chunk of test is hexadecimal-encoded HTML that redirects users to ask5 .eu (a space has been added for your protection). A series of redirect links ultimately leads to a site that looks similar to a Microsoft Windows screen with a popup claiming the PC is overrun with malware. The user is prompted to download rogue anti-virus to fix the imaginary problem.

While it's not the most convincing attack we've ever seen, there's nothing to stop attackers from using the same technique to push web-based exploits, say the Adobe Reader zero-day attack that's now circulating in the wild.

The links work because appleinsider.com and the rest of the sites being abused fail to filter out harmful characters used in XSS attacks.

More about the attack is available from the Zscaler blog here. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
Got an iPhone or iPad? LOOK OUT for MASQUE-D INTRUDERS
UNjailbroken iOS 7, 8 open to evil, says secbiz FireEye
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
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.