Whistleblowing site Cryptome.org infected
Hackers tried to infect PCs visiting Cryptome.org with malware by directing them to Internet Explorer exploits
IDG News Service - Cryptome.org, a website dedicated to disclosing confidential information, was compromised last week and was used to infect PCs running Internet Explorer through drive-by exploits.
The security breach was discovered Sunday when a reader notified Cryptome's owners about a security alert he received from his antivirus program when accessing the website.
A subsequent investigation uncovered that a rogue script element had been injected into the website's HTML pages on Feb. 8 in order to direct visitors to an installation of the Blackhole exploit kit.
The Blackhole exploit kit is commonly used to launch drive-by download attacks from compromised websites by exploiting vulnerabilities in programs installed on the computers of users accessing them.
In Cryptome's case, the Blackhole installation targeted unpatched versions of Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. A log file found on the server suggests that 2,863 different IP addresses were targeted until the rogue script was identified and removed.
In order to avoid detection the attack code filtered out connections from Google, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and several online website scanning services.
It's not clear how Cryptome was initially compromised, but researchers who looked at its Web server found that it was running an outdated version of FrontPage extensions.
"Frontpage hasn't existed for quite some time and the web server extensions that support it have been buggy and had many security vulnerabilities from day one," said Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at antivirus vendor Sophos, in a blog post.
Wisniewski's recommendation for webmasters is to disable any Web server modules that are not used in order to reduce the potential attack surface. Turning off debugging and status pages is also a good idea, because these tool can give attackers hints about where the vulnerabilities might be, he said. Wisniewski's other advice include using a version control system that can monitor changes made to websites and regularly reviewing the server access logs for suspicious activity.
Internet users should keep their software applications up to date in order to be protect themselves against drive-by download attacks, he said. The operating system, browsers and browser plug-ins are some of the most frequently targeted pieces of software.
- Troubleshooting Common Issues in VoIP Learn more about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including common VoIP metrics used, best practices in VoIP management and tips and tricks for...
- 2013 Network Management Software (NMS) Buyers Guide This white paper contains an independent comparison study of six different network management solutions and provides guidance on how you can choose the...
- Rightsizing Your Network Performance Management Solution: 4 Case Studies This white paper discusses challenges encountered as organizations search for the most cost-effective network performance management solution.
- Global Growing Pains: Tapping into B2B Integration Services to Overcome Global Expansion Challenges A recent survey by IDG Research explored both the challenges and pain points companies face when growing globally, as well as the capabilities...
- E-Signature RFP Checklist Webcast If your organization is looking to adopt e-signatures, you may be overwhelmed by the number of providers that offer seemingly similar solutions. How...
- Cloud and Collaboration: Driving Your Business Value Mission Critical Cloud from Peer 1 Hosting is enterprise-grade. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!