Feeds

Film review site hacked to spew malicious PDFs

Aintitcool.com attack isn't

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Hackers on Thursday exploited a vulnerability on Ain't It Cool News that redirected anyone visiting the movie review site to a server containing a malicious Adobe Reader file.

The attack targeted a vulnerable PHP script on one of AICN's servers that automatically appended the malicious link to banner ads served on the site, its publisher, Roland De Noie, said. As a result, anyone visiting the site over a 90-minute period on Thursday morning was silently redirected to speedconnection .cn which served a malicious file named annonce.pdf.

The booby-trapped PDF, according an analysis by researchers at Praetorian Prefect, exploited two vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader that the company has already fixed. When the file is opened by unpatched versions of Reader, it launches malicious shell code that hijacks the machine. Only 12 of the 41 major anti-virus programs currently detect the trojan, according to this VirusTotal analysis.

In September, Mozilla found that more than half of Firefox users used insecure versions of Adobe Flash. It wouldn't be surprising to find a similarly large proportion of the population using out-of-date versions of Reader, too.

"The point of weakness was actually our own ad server," De Noie told The Register. The unknown attackers "had cracked through a PHP server flaw and appended this link to all the ads."

AICN has yet to warn its users that they may have been attacked. De Noie said his staff was still collecting information.

The attack came as a shock to some AICN readers, many who consider themselves enthusiasts of science-fiction, fantasy and horror films.

"This didn't just happen once, randomly," one reader complained after encountering the poisoned PDF. "It's happened 9-10 times in a row as I accessed the AICN website. Specifically targeting my IP number." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.