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Attack on open-source web app keeps growing

8 mil poisoned pages, thanks to osCommerce users

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An attack targeting sites running unpatched versions of the osCommerce web application kept growing virally this week, more than three weeks after a security firm warned it was being used to install malware on the computers of unsuspecting users.

When researchers from Armorize first spotted the exploit on July 24, they estimated it had injected malicious links into about 91,000 webpages. By early last week, The Reg reported it had taken hold of almost 5 million pages. At time of writing, Google searches here and here suggested that the number exceeded 8.3 million.

Armorize said attackers are exploiting three separate vulnerabilities in the open source store-management application, including one that was discovered last month. Harold Ponce de Leon, the lead developer of osCommerce, said there's only one vulnerability that's being exploited, but he admitted that no one on his team has spoken to anyone at Armorize to reconcile the difference of opinion.

"It is devastating not only to see the damage the attack has inflicted to online stores, but also to customers who are getting affected with old IE6 browser exploits," he wrote in an email.

He said a fix has been available since November's release of osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3. The steadily climbing number of infected webpages suggests that a large percentage of osCommerce websites can't be bothered to install it. And that means people visiting those ecommerce websites are being unnecessarily exposed to attacks. ®

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