Feeds

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

Ill-used 'adult' dating site riddled with infection

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.