Attackers injected malicious code into Dailymotion.com, a popular video sharing website, and redirected visitors to Web-based exploits that installed malware.
The rogue code consisted of an iframe that appeared on Dailymotion on June 28, researchers from security vendor Symantec said Thursday in a blog post. The iframe redirected browsers to a different website hosting an installation of the Sweet Orange Exploit Kit, an attack tool that uses exploits for Java, Internet Explorer and Flash Player.
The flaws that Sweet Orange attempted to exploit are: CVE-2013-2551, patched by Microsoft in Internet Explorer in May 2013; CVE-2013-2460, patched by Oracle in Java in June 2013; and CVE-2014-0515, patched by Adobe in Flash Player in April.
"If the kit successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities, then Trojan.Adclicker was downloaded onto the victim's computer," the Symantec researchers said. "This malware forces the compromised computer to artificially generate traffic to pay-per-click Web advertisements in order to generate revenue for the attackers."
The Dailymotion website was briefly attacked by malware through an advertising campaign on June 28, a Dailymotion representative said Friday via email. "This attack has led to the shutdown of a very limited number of pages of dailymotion.com during a very short period of time. This malware attack has not been specifically targeting Dailymotion but has impacted a large number of publishers."
The blocked pages were restored in a matter of hours and only a small number of users were affected because the advertising platform responsible has limited activity on the website, the Dailymotion representative said. The company is currently testing third-party software to assess in real time the quality of advertising campaigns delivered on its website.
The video-sharing website ranks 90 on the list of top 100 most popular websites by traffic according to Amazon-owned Internet statistics firm Alexa. Symantec's data indicates that the majority of Dailymotion visitors affected by this attack were from the U.S. -- more than 50 percent -- and Europe.
This is not the first time that Dailymotion.com has been used to distribute malware. In January, security firm Invincea reported that a malicious ad displayed on the site attempted to trick users into installing a fake antivirus program.