Feeds

Amnesty International UK site flung Gh0st RAT at surfers after hack

Do-gooders done for

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Amnesty International UK's website was hacked early this week in an assault ultimately geared towards planting malware onto the PCs of visiting surfers.

Malicious Java code was planted on the site in a bid to push the Gh0st RAT Trojan onto vulnerable Windows machines. If successful, the attack plants malware onto machines that is capable of extracting the user's files, email, passwords and other sensitive personal information.

The attack, which ran between 7 and 9 May, was detected by web security firm Websense, which informed Amnesty about the threat. The human rights organisation has since cleaned up its site.

Amnesty International is no stranger to this type of attack. Its UK site was hit by a similar drive-by-download-style attack back in 2009, and a similar assault was launched against its Hong Kong site a year later.

Websense has a write-up of the latest assault in a blog post here.

The Gh0st Trojan has been used by suspected Chinese hackers in several advanced persistent threat (APT) style attacks, most notably the ‘Nitro’ attacks against energy firms in 2011. Chinese involvement in the Amnesty International attack is suspected but unproven.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] Amnesty.org.uk was infected with a piece of malicious code. As soon as we became aware of the infection we worked with our hosting company to isolate it and remove it as a matter of urgency. The problem was resolved by yesterday lunchtime," the organization told El Reg in a statement.

"Security is very important to us and as well as extensive security measure in place to prevent exploits such as this, we also have constant monitoring in place to alert us immediately when incidents like this occur. 'All our users profiles are held on a completely separate website and server and were in no way compromised by this incident." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View
Tony Blair's digs now a Tone-y Blur
German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags
Sour Krauts arrest second local in domestic spy ring probe
Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online
BBC asks fans to EXTERMINATE copies before they materialise
Snowden leaks latest: NSA, FBI g-men spied on Muslim-American chiefs
US Navy veteran? Lawmaker? Academic? You're all POTENTIAL TERRORISTS
UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'
PM says rushed-through DRIP law will 'plug holes' in existing legislation
Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap
Seleznev Jnr is 'prolific trafficker in stolen credit card data', it is alleged
Teensy card skimmers found in gullets of ATMs
Hi-tech fraudsters treading more softly, but gas still yielding bang for buck
Adobe Flash: The most INSECURE program on a UK user's PC
XML a weak spot, but nothing's as dire as Adobe player
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem
Download this brochure to find five ways HP BladeSystem can optimize your business with the power of one.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.