Feeds

MySQL.com breach leaves visitors exposed to malware

Rash of embarrassing open-source hacks spreads

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hackers recently compromised the website hosting the open-source MySQL database management system and caused it to infect the PCs of visitors who used unpatched browsers and plug-ins, security researchers said.

MySQL.com was infected with mwjs159, website malware that often spreads when compromised machines are used to access restricted FTP clients servers, a blog post from Sucuri Security reported. The hack caused people visiting the site to be redirected to a site that attempted to install malware on visitors' computers using code from the Blackhole exploit kit, separate researchers from Armorize said.

“It exploits the visitor's browsing platform (the browser, the browser plugins like Adobe Flash, Adobe PDF, etc, Java, ...), and upon successful exploitation, permanently installs a piece of malware into the visitor's machine, without the visitor's knowledge,” Armorize researchers warned. “The visitor doesn't need to click or agree to anything; simply visiting mysql.com with a vulnerable browsing platform will result in an infection.”

Officials with the Oracle-owned MySQL didn't respond to email seeking comment for this post.

The reported breach is the latest to affect the distribution system for a widely used piece of open-source software. The kernel.org and Linux.com websites used to develop and distribute the Linux operating system remain inaccessible four weeks after it was infected with malware that gained root access, modified system software, and logged passwords and transactions of the people who used them. Representatives haven't said when they expect the sites to be operational again.

Other open-source projects that have been compromised in recent months include GNU Savannah, and Apache.org, which maintains the Apache webserver. Servers hosting the PHP programming language have also been compromised in the past.

Besides sullying the reputation of open-source software as more secure alternative to competing applications from Microsoft and other for-profit companies, the compromises have sparked concerns about the purity of the code the sites host. If attackers were able to secretly alter the code with backdoors, they could potentially surveil or gain control over sensitive networks that rely on the applications.

In the MySQL.com hack, the attackers appear to have aimed for the less ambitious goal of infecting the desktop machines of those who visited the site. At time of writing, just five of the top 44 antivirus providers were detecting the threat, according to this analysis from VirusTotal.

Sucuri speculated the site was infected after a MySQL developer was compromised and had his password stolen. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.