Feeds

MySQL.com breach leaves visitors exposed to malware

Rash of embarrassing open-source hacks spreads

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.