On April 16th at 11:00pm GMT, the first of two botnets began a massive spam campaign to take advantage of the recent Boston tragedy. The spam messages claim to contain news concerning the Boston Marathon bombing. The spam messages contain a link to a site that claims to have videos of explosions from the attack. Simultaneously, links to these sites were posted as comments to various blogs.
The link directs users to a webpage that includes iframes that load content from several YouTube videos plus content from an attacker-controlled site. Reports indicate the attacker-controlled sites host malicious .jar files that can compromise vulnerable machines.
On April 17th, a second botnet began using a similar spam campaign. Instead of simply providing a link, the spam messages contained graphical HTML content claiming to be breaking news alerts from CNN.
Cisco Intrusion Prevention System devices, Cloud Web Security, Email Security Appliances, and Web Security Appliances have blocked this campaign from the start.
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Tags: botnets, cisco sio, malware, Security Intelligence Operations (SIO), TRAC
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks: there are already enough articles out there that can explain what a CSRF attack is and provide potential examples. There are also plenty of security alerts that have been released by various vendors whose products are affected by CSRF-related vulnerabilities.
CSRF attacks usually target web applications and attempt to make unwanted changes on server data or extract sensitive information from a web application. Attackers do this by luring an authenticated user into making a specially crafted web request. It’s important, regardless of role, for everyone to have a basic understanding of CSRF attacks and the available options to protect against them.
For more information about basic CSRF concepts and potential mitigations, see our new Applied Mitigation Bulletin Understanding Cross-Site Request Forgery Threat Vectors. Although this document does not attempt to provide all the technical details associated with CSRF, it does aim to summarize the CSRF technique and provide methods that can be potentially used by developers, network administrators and users to protect against CSRF attacks.
For all things related to Security don’t forget to visit the Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) Portal—the primary outlet for Cisco’s security intelligence and the public home to all of our security-related content. Just go to cisco.com/security.
Tags: Applied Mitigation Bulletins, Cisco Security, cisco sio, cross-site request forgery, CSRF, CSRF attacks, mitigations
Dan Goodin, editor at Ars Technica, has been tracking and compiling info on an elusive series of website compromises that could be impacting tens of thousands of otherwise perfectly legitimate sites. While various researchers have reported various segments of the attacks, until Dan’s article, no one had connected the dots and linked them all together.
Dubbed “Darkleech,” thousands of Web servers across the globe running Apache 2.2.2 and above are infected with an SSHD backdoor that allows remote attackers to upload and configure malicious Apache modules. These modules are then used to turn hosted sites into attack sites, dynamically injecting iframes in real-time, only at the moment of visit.
Because the iframes are dynamically injected only when the pages are accessed, this makes discovery and remediation particularly difficult. Further, the attackers employ a sophisticated array of conditional criteria to avoid detection:
- Checking IP addresses and blacklisting security researchers, site owners, and the compromised hosting providers;
- Checking User Agents to target specific operating systems (to date, Windows systems);
- Blacklisting search engine spiders;
- Checking cookies to “wait list” recent visitors;
- Checking referrer URLs to ensure visitor is coming in via valid search engine results. Read More »
Tags: apache, apache darkleech compromise, apache module injection attacks, Cisco Security, cisco sio, SSHD backdoor, TRAC
Are you excited about March Madness? Turn on a TV and it will be hard to avoid the games, the news, the commentaries, and the jokes about it. If you eavesdrop in any restaurant, bar, or office conversation, I can assure you that you will hear something about it. Even U.S. President Barack Obama filled out a March Madness bracket. Productivity in many offices drops significantly as employees search and watch videos to see how their bracket picks are progressing. At Cisco, we have an open policy and employees can watch and search the scores of their favorite teams. Watch this video posted by CNN where Kip Compton, Cisco’s Video Collaboration Group CTO, talks about March Madness.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Legitimate business sites may have vulnerabilities that allow a hostile site to deliver malware.
- In most drive-by downloads, the victim is willing to dismissively click pop-ups and warnings as they navigate to the desired content. In this case, users may just click on pop-ups or ads to watch videos about their favorite team.
- Most drive-by downloads can be prevented by keeping software up to date. Read More »
Tags: Cisco Security, cisco sio, crimeware, dns, exploit kit, java vulnerability, malware, march madness, XSS
Around 12:00 GMT March 16, 2013, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack took offline both the spamhaus.org website and a portion of its e-mail services. SpamHaus was able to restore connectivity by March 18; however, SpamHaus is still weathering a massive, ongoing DDoS attack. The DDoS attacks have also had less severe but measurable consequences for the Composite Block List (CBL) as well as Project Honey Pot.
The attackers appear to have hijacked at least one of SpamHaus’ IP addresses via a maliciously announced BGP route and subsequently used a Domain Name System (DNS) server at the IP to return a positive result for every SpamHaus Domain Name System-based Block List (DNSBL) query. This caused all SpamHaus customers querying the rogue nameserver to erroneously drop good connections.
Tags: Cisco Security, cisco sio, DDoS, distributed denial of service, dns, DNS reflection attack, spamhaus, TRAC