Feeds

Zombie PCs exploit hookup site in 4Square-for-malware scam

Ill-used 'adult' dating site riddled with infection

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Security researchers have discovered a strain of malware that uses the geolocation service offered by an adult dating website as an easy way to determine the location of infected machines.

Thousands of infected machines in a zombie network all phoned home to the URL promos.fling.com/geo/txt/city.php at the adult hookup site fling.com, security researchers at Websense discovered. Analyst first thought the adult dating site was been abused as a botnet command and control channel.

Not so.

A more detailed look at the traffic from an infected machine revealed that JavaScript code built into the malware is dues to query fling's systems in order to discover the exact location - state, city, latitude and longitude - of infected PCs.

All indications are that Fling.com is not in on this. Instead, its unsecured geo-location services are being used as a kind of 4Square for zombie PCs. This information is "used by the botmaster for statistics or to give different commands to infected machines in certain countries," Websense explains. The security firm reports that in more than 4,700 samples of these yet unnamed malware behind the attack have been submitted to its security lab to date.

A blog post by Websense, featuring a Wireshark dump of traffic from a deliberately infected machine, can be found here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.