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Malware attack spreads to 5 million pages (and counting)

Unpatched sites turn on visitors

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

An attack that targets a popular online commerce application has infected almost 5 million webpages with scripts that attempt to install malware on their visitors' computers.

The mass attack, which compromises websites running unpatched versions of the osCommerce store-management web application, has spread virally over the past week. When researchers from web security firm Armorize first discovered it on July 24, Google search results suggested just 91,000 webpages were infected. As of Tuesday, those same search results showed the exploit had spread to almost 5 million pages.

According to Armorize, the attack exploits at least three osCommerce security flaws, one that was disclosed just three weeks ago. The vulnerabilities have allowed attackers using Ukrainian IP addresses to inject iframes into unpatched websites. The iframes silently redirect visitors to malicious files located on willysy.com and exero.eu. Those domain names, in turn redirect visitors to a series of intermediate websites that ultimately try to exploit several Windows vulnerabilities.

Visitors who haven't installed patches are then compromised, usually with no outward indication.

The video below, shows the attack in action.

At time of writing, Google results showed 4.5 million pages infected with the willysy.com link and 415,000 pages infected with the exero.eu iframe.

The time line is a graphic example of why it's important for end users and website admins to apply patches immediately. Waiting even a few days can mean the difference between getting infected and staying clean.

If you're running a website that uses osCommerce, Armorize has detailed instructions here for detecting and cleaning up infections. osCommerce, provides a security primer here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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