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1,000+ webpages poisoned in latest mass malware hack

Security firm Idera.com included

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Yet another mass compromise is hitting poorly configured websites, and at least one of the afflicted is a security site that plays up its prowess in warding off the very type of attack it has been smitten by.

At least 17 pages on idera.com were hit by a quick-moving SQL injection attack on Friday, including one titled “Understanding SQL Server Security Options,” according to this Google search. More than 1,000 pages belonging to a wide range of other domains were also compromised in the attack, which causes those who visit the links to connect to a server that tries to install malware on their PCs.

The mass attack is similar to one that struck at least 7,000 webpages earlier this week. They work by injecting database commands into search boxes and other user input fields on the sites. Because the underlying web applications fail to properly filter the content, they get passed to the site's backend server, where they are executed. The result is an iframe in the page that silently redirects users to a drive-by download site.

The latest SQL injection attack pulls down a malicious javascript from 2677.in, which according to anti-virus firm Symantec, downloads a serious threat dubbed “HTTP Microsoft IE Generic Heap Spray BO.” 2677.in was still active at time of writing.

Other websites to be hit by the attack included Chicagopublicradio.com, WBEZ.org, The Phuket Gazette and Ameristar.com.

All the sites appear to be using Microsoft's Internet Information Services using ASP.net, said David Dede, head of malware research at Sucuri, a website monitoring firm. He stressed that the vulnerability is caused by individual web applications running on that platform rather than the platform itself, and he said a previous observation that the all the compromised sites appeared to be running the same banner ad app turned out to be incorrect. Securi's blog post on the latest attack is here.

Earlier this week, volunteers with the Shadowserver Foundation were instrumental in disabling the website used in the previous mass compromise. Presumably, the white-hat group will do so again, though until websites clean up their apps, it wouldn't be surprising to see this turn into an extended game of whack-a-mole. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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