Feeds

Flash cache exploit debuts in Amnesty attack

Cash from chaos

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Miscreants have deployed a subtle variant of the well established drive-by-download attack tactics against the website of human rights organisation Amnesty International.

In traditional drive-by-download attacks malicious code is planted on websites. This code redirects surfers to an exploit site, which relies on browser vulnerabilities or other exploits to download and execute malware onto visiting PCs.

The attack on the Amnesty website, detected by security firm Armorize, relied on a different sequence of events. In this case, malicious scripts are used to locate the malware which is already sitting in the browser's cache directory, before executing it.

This so-called drive-by cache approach make attacks harder to detect because no attempt is made to download a file and write it to disk, a suspicion manoeuvre many security software packages are liable to detect. By bypassing this step dodgy sorts are more likely to slip their wares past security software undetected.

The Amnesty International attack ultimately relied on an Adobe Flash zero-day exploit, patched by Adobe late last week, with the ultimate aim of dropping a backdoor on compromised machines.

A full write-up of the attack, analysing the code involved and explaining the concept of drive-by cache attacks in greater depth, can be found on the Armorize blog here.

It's at least the second time in six months Amnesty International's website has attacked its visitors. In November, visitors to the group's Hong Kong website were bombarded with a host of potent exploits, including one that targeted what was then a critical zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Boffins build FREE SUPERCOMPUTER from free cloud server trials
Who cares about T&Cs when there's LIteCoin to mint?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.