Thousands compromised as hackers target schools, banks

By on
Thousands compromised as hackers target schools, banks

Attackers gain foothold in corporate networks.

More than 32,000 individuals and 4000 US organisations have potentially been compromised as part of a new malware campaign that targets local institutions like community halls, shopping centres and schools.

The compromised hosts belonged to government, technology and defence industry staff who RSA said were targeted in a single attack by criminals wanting to get inside the companies' networks.

The attackers hoped hijacked machines would be taken back inside the corporate network where the malware would infect more machines and steal data.

Attackers had infected the websites of banks and even schools near the residential areas where employees likely lived.

These sites served as community hubs and were likely to be visited by many of the targeted individuals, RSA chief information security officer Eddie Schwartz told SC.

The security firm dubbed the sites "watering holes" in recognition of their ability to draw crowds, and as a hunting ground for predators.

Initial reports from RSA's server logs reported most victims were located in Massachuttes and Washington DC.

However, Schwartz said the attacks were happening elsewhere including Asia.

"These [victims] are your school web sites and banks -— any organisation within certain geographic locations," Schwartz said.

"I bet any money it's happening in Australia."

Victim websites would be loaded with a JavaScript that redirected users to other sites which hosted exploit kits.

Those exploit sites would check that a victim was running both Windows and a vulnerable version of Internet Explorer before an instance of the Gh0st remote access tool was installed.

That tool granted attackers a host of functions including the ability to install malware and grab data.

RSA researchers are drafting a paper expected to be released in coming weeks that details more information on the attacks.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

Tags:

Most Read Articles

You must be a registered member of iTnews to post a comment.
| Register

Poll

How should the costs of Australia's piracy scheme be split?
Rights holders should foot the whole bill
50/50
ISPs should foot the whole bill
Government should chip in a bit
Other
Flash is heading towards its grave, and that's...
Great! Good riddance
Sad! Flash had some good qualities
Irrelevant. I don't care
What's Flash?
View poll archive

Whitepapers from our sponsors

What will the stadium of the future look like?
What will the stadium of the future look like?
New technology adoption is pushing enterprise networks to breaking point
New technology adoption is pushing enterprise networks to breaking point
Gartner names IBM a 'Leader' for Disaster Recovery as a Service
Gartner names IBM a 'Leader' for Disaster Recovery as a Service
The next era of business continuity: Are you ready for an always-on world?
The next era of business continuity: Are you ready for an always-on world?

Log In

Username:
Password:
|  Forgot your password?