ExploitHub admits 'embarrassing oversight' lead to hack

The vulnerability marketplace was hacked by the Inj3ct0r Team, which also runs its own vulnerability marketplace

A marketplace where security researchers can sell details on software bugs said it was compromised on Tuesday due to an "embarrassing oversight" that left its web server vulnerable.

ExploitHub, which is based in Austin, Texas, has an online marketplace with details of exploits, or attack code that could be used to take advantage of a software vulnerability. A group calling itself the "Inj3ct0r Team" claimed responsibility for the attack, ExploitHub said in a statement posted to Facebook.

The Inj3ct0r Team, which also runs its own vulnerability and exploit marketplace, posted descriptions of some of the data on a website, which included software products from major IT companies include Oracle, Adobe Systems, HP, Citrix and Trend Micro. The group claimed the information is worth US$242,333 and said it hacked ExploitHub to show it had poor security.

The Inj3ct0r Team's hack took advantage of "an accessible install script that was left on the system rather than being removed after installation, which was an embarrassing oversight on our part," ExploitHub said. The problem allowed the Inj3ct0r Team to extract the exploit information from ExploitHub's SQL database.

ExploitHub said it had architected its public-facing web application server in a way to limit the damage if it was compromised. "Being a high profile target, the ExploitHub endures attacks daily," it added.

The marketplace said the hackers only accessed information that was already publicly available by searching through its online catalog. The information included exploit names, prices and the names of researchers but not any actual exploit code, which could be used in attacks.

"The product data is stored elsewhere, and there is currently no evidence that the storage location was accessed by any unauthorized party or that any of the exploit code or other product data has been compromised or stolen as has been claimed," ExploitHub said. "However, our investigation is ongoing."

ExploitHub does not allow zero-day exploits to be included in its marketplace. Zero-day exploits are considered the most dangerous type of attack since it means the software manufacturer has not patched the vulnerability and the exploit is actively being used in attacks.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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