Feeds

Microsoft confirms Russian pill-pusher attack on its network

Is there a Linux admin in the house?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft has confirmed that two devices on its corporate network were compromised to help a notorious gang of Russian criminals push Viagra, Human Growth Hormone, and other knockoff pharmaceuticals.

The admission came in response to an article The Register published on Tuesday. It reported that two internet addresses belonging to Microsoft were helping to route traffic to more than 1,000 websites that belong to a fraudulent online pharmacy known as the Canadian Health&Care Mall. Microsoft on Wednesday said an investigation of that report confirmed the hijacking was the result of an attack on machines connected to its network.

“We have completed our investigation and found that two misconfigured network hardware devices in a testing lab were compromised due to human error,” the five-sentence statement said. “Those devices have been removed and we can confirm that no customer data was compromised and no production systems were affected. We are taking steps to better ensure that testing lab hardware devices that are internet accessible are configured with proper security controls.”

According to network security researcher Ronald F. Guilmette, the Microsoft IP addresses had been used to host the websites' authoritative name servers since at least September 22. El Reg ran the data he supplied by experts in DNS and botnet take-downs, and most said it likely indicated that one or more machines on Microsoft's network had been infected with malware.

About 24 hours after The Reg article ran, security reporter Brian Krebs reported that one of the two Microsoft IPs had been used to coordinate a massive denial-of-service attack against his website, KrebsOnSecurity.com. Shortly after the attacks began on September 23, researchers were able to pinpoint the Microsoft IP and within hours they notified Microsoft of the compromised IPs, the site reported.

Remarkably, the machines weren't unplugged from Microsoft's network until Tuesday, almost three weeks later, shortly after The Register article was published. Also notable, according to Krebs, the machines that were compromised were running Linux. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.