Huge Web hack attack infects 500,000 pages

Sites may have been compromised through a "security issue" in Microsoft's Web server software

Microsoft also contested Panda's claim that it had reported a problem. "Microsoft is currently aware of and is reviewing reports regarding public claims of attacks on IIS Web servers," said Bill Sisk, a communications manager who works in the Microsoft Security Response Center. "While we have not been contacted directly regarding these reports, we will continue to monitor all reports either publically shared or responsibly disclosed and investigate once sufficient details are provided."

Although it may not be clear how attackers are compromising such large numbers of Web sites, what happens after a site is infected is well-understood, researchers have said. When a visitor reaches one of the hacked sites, malicious JavaScript loads an IFRAME from a malware-hosting server; the IFRAME redirects the browser to a different page, also hosted on the hacker's server.

Next, a multiple-strike attack kit is downloaded to the visitor's PC. The kit tries eight different exploits, and if it finds one that works, hijacks the system.

These kinds of attacks, said Sherstobitoff, essentially make the idea of a "trusted site" moot. "You used to know that if you walked down the dark streets of the Web, you would be infected. Today, you really can't tell what the dark streets are."

The hacker strategy, of course, is to leverage that uncertainty. "This is getting really bad," Sherstobitoff said.

It's so bad, in fact, that while security companies urged Web site administrators to check their server logs for evidence of a compromise, and told corporate security staffs to block several malware-hosting sites at their companies' perimeters, they didn't have much useful advice for end-users.

"Users should be extremely wary when visiting sites, even those typically trusted," was about all Symantec could come up with in an alert to customers of its DeepSight threat notification service.

Disabling JavaScript can also protect against such attacks, Symantec added. Users, however, are often reluctant to switch off JavaScript because without it, many sites are crippled or won't display properly.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?