Java zero-day exploit goes mainstream, 100+ sites serve malware
Blackhole exploit toolkit adds attack code that leverages unpatched bugs
Computerworld - Attackers using two recently-uncovered Java unpatched vulnerabilities, or "zero-days," have quickly expanded their reach by going mainstream, security experts said today.
And on Tuesday, Mozilla, maker of Firefox, joined the chorus of advice that users should disable the current version of Oracle's Java. The company is also ready to automatically block the plug-in from running in its browser, although it has not yet pulled the trigger.
The exploit's breakout followed the addition of attack code to the notorious Blackhole exploit toolkit.
Multiple security firms, including FireEye and Websense, said late Tuesday that the Java exploit had been added to Blackhole, a popular hacker's tool that bundles numerous exploits and tries each in turn until it finds one that will work against a personal computer.
"Exploit code for the Java vulnerabilities has been added to the most prevalent exploit kit out there, Blackhole," said Websense in a short post on its company blog.
The addition of the exploit to Blackhole was cited by FireEye researcher Atif Mushtaq in a similar blog entry yesterday as the basis for a spike in attacks. "After seeing the reliability of this attack, I have no doubt in my mind that within hours the casualties will be in the thousands," said Mushtaq.
Today, Patrik Runald, director of security research at Websense, said his team had found more than 100 unique domains serving the Java exploit.
"The number is definitely growing...and because Blackhole has an updatable framework and already has a foothold on thousands of sites, we anticipate that the number of sites compromised with this new zero-day will escalate rapidly in the coming days," Runald said in an email reply to questions Wednesday.
Initially, the exploit was aimed at a small number of individuals or organizations.
It doesn't appear that the appearance of attack code in Metasploit, the open-source penetration testing framework used by both legitimate researchers and criminals, played a part in the quick dissemination of the exploit. According to Runald, the Blackhole exploit was based on earlier proof-of-concept code.
Yesterday, Michael Coates, Mozilla's director of security assurance, urged Firefox users to disable the browser's Java plug-in because Oracle has not issued fixes. Others, including US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) have given the same advice, or recommended the more drastic measure of uninstalling Java entirely.
- Researcher claims two hacker gangs exploiting unpatched IE bug
- Update: Third of Internet Explorer users at risk from attacks
- Microsoft plans another short patch slate for next week, but finds a few XP bugs to crush
- Target attack shows danger of remotely accessible HVAC systems
- Target hackers try new ways to use stolen card data
- Update: Microsoft to patch just-revealed Windows zero-day tomorrow
- NSA spying prompts open TrueCrypt encryption software audit to go viral
- Microsoft warns of Office zero-day, active hacker exploits
- Hackers move to create next Blackhole after 'Paunch' arrest
- Adobe hack shows subscription software vendors lucrative targets
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Who's Spying on You? You're aware of the threats of malware to your business but what about the ever-changing ground rules? Cybercriminals today are launching attacks against...
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts