French Embassy site for Libya said to be serving malware

Compromised site identified by McAfee researcher

The French Embassy Web site for Libya has been compromised and is serving up malware to visitors, according to McAfee.

McAfee researcher Francois Paget discovered Thursday and the company says it has reported its findings to the French government. The site has been attacked using an iFrame exploit that inserts an invisible frame in the page in order to re-direct some Web browser connections to another location, which serves up a "downloader," code that attempts to reside on the victim machine. If the downloader is successful, the attacker can then remotely attempt to download other malware, "typically a bot or a password-stealing Trojan," says Dave Marcus, McAfee security researcher and communications manager.

Marcus says Paget, a researcher with tools to scan scripts and investigate code behavior, happened by chance to be looking at the French Embassy Web site for Libya and discovered the attack code on it. The incident is similar to discoveries made by security researchers of other compromised Web sites spewing attack code, including that of the Bank of India and the MySpace page of Alicia Keys.

McAfee says the attack on the French Web site is being carried out via routing through a Hong Kong provider and then to sites in Russia and the Ukraine.

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Ellen Messmer

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