Feeds

Hackers plant Firefox 0day on Nobel Peace Prize website

Mozilla confirms 'critical vuln' in the wild

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Malicious hackers have exploited an unpatched vulnerability in the latest version of Firefox to attack people visiting the Nobel Peace Prize website, a Norway-based security firm said on Tuesday.

Mozilla representatives confirmed a "critical vulnerability" in versions 3.5 and 3.6 of the open-source browser. It came several hours after the organization members were said to have made the same admission on this password-protected Bugzilla page.

According to Einar Oftedal, a detection executive at Norman ASA in Oslo, the official website for the Nobel Peace prize, nobelpeaceprize.org, was compromised so that it contained an iframe link to a malicious server.

“This iframe has a multi exploit backend and serves exploits for Firefox, including a working remote exploit for firefox 3.6.11,” he said in an instant message to The Register. “We didn't see any 0day for IE,” he added, referring to Microsoft's browser.

He said the attack exploited a race condition vulnerability in Firefox to force end users to install malware his firm has dubbed Belmoo. The Windows executable was created on Sunday and attempts to connect to several internet addresses, according to his analysis.

If the addresses resolve, “the malware attaches a command shell to the opened socket, giving an attacker access on the local computer with the same rights as the logged on user.” If not, the malware will exit.

If Norman's report proves accurate, it's the first time in recent memory attackers have exploited an unpatched vulnerability in Firefox. Most so-called zero-day attacks are perpetrated against Adobe Reader or Flash Player, Microsoft software and to a lesser extent Oracle's Java. The report is also unusual because the attack didn't appear to target other applications, as is typical with exploit packages.

Hours after the reports surfaced, Mozilla said it would issue a fix as soon as possible. In the meantime, users can protect themselves by disabling JavaScript altogether or installing the NoScript extension that allows users to control which websites are permitted to run JavaScript.

The reported attack comes less than three weeks after jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize. The 54-year-old former university professor was sentenced in December to 11 years in prison for co-authoring Charter 08, a manifesto that strongly condemned China's one-party Communist government. Beijing considers him a criminal and has voiced its discontent to Norway. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.