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Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons

66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on

Social media buttons

Web admins beware: social media buttons that load scripts from unknown external sites could see your sites foisting the FlashPack exploit kit to visitors.

Several sources warn that popular JavaScript social media panels are being modified to load external resources that pulled down FlashPack, formerly known as SafePack, which has so far compromised at least 66,000 users.

It was loaded onto visitor computers who failed to apply a February Adobe Flash patch (CVE-2014-0497), which would capture a decent number of victims who still ignore software updates.

The EK Wild West: Kahu Security

The EK Wild West: Kahu Security

This FlashPack delivered the Carberp trojan that opened a backdoor in victim machines to steal data.

Some 87 percent of victims were from Japan, while the others heralded from the United States, Taiwan and India.

"... a JavaScript file on the home page of the add-on is loaded. This alone should raise red flags: it means that the site owner is loading scripts from an external server not under their control," Trend Micro fraud researcher Joseph Chen said.

"It's one thing if it loads scripts on trusted sites like Google, Facebook, or other well-known names; it's another thing to load scripts on little-known servers with no name to protect."

Chen advised web admins to be "very cautious" when incorporating add-ons to websites which relied on externally hosted scripts because it was "trivial" to use these to compromise visitors.

Bad add-ons could also slow down site performance.

A better choice was to use add-ons that kept everything within the same server and for users to maintain up to date with software security patches.

It was unknown but likely that the trojan payload would be detected by most antivirus vendors. ®

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