We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
75,052 News Articles

Trend Micro exposed by widespread web hack

More than 20,000 sites now affected

The website for security software firm Trend Micro was among the hundreds of legitimate websites to fall victim to a widespread web attack that has spread malicious software around the web this week.

A spokesman yesterday confirmed that the company's site had been hacked, saying that the attack took place earlier in the week. "A portion of our site - some pages were attacked," said Mike Sweeny, a Trend Micro spokesman. "We took the pages down overnight Tuesday night - and took corrective action."

On Thursday security vendor McAfee reported that more than 20,000 web pages have been affected by the attack. The pages are infected with malicious code that tries to install password-stealing software on the PCs of people who visit the sites.

Researchers are still not sure how the attackers are managing to hack these web pages, but the pages all seem to use Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) technology, which is used by many web development programs to create dynamic HTML pages. A software bug in any of those programs is all the attackers need to install their malicious code.

The infected web pages are not obviously malicious, but the attackers have added a small bit of JavaScript code that redirects visitors' browsers to an invisible attack launched from servers based in China. This same technique was used a year ago, when attackers infected the websites of the Miami Dolphins and Dolphins Stadium just prior to the 2007 Super Bowl XLI football game.

The JavaScript attack code hosted on these infected websites takes advantage of bugs that have already been patched, so users whose software is up-to-date are not at risk. However, McAfee warns that some of the exploits are for obscure programs such as ActiveX controls for online games, which users may not think to patch.

If the code is successful, it then installs a password-stealing program on the victim's computer that looks for passwords for a number of online games, including the Lord of the Rings Online.

It's embarrassing when security vendors fall victim to the attacks they are supposed to prevent, but Trend Micro is not the only company to have had its website hacked in recent months. In January, parts of CA's website were infected with a very similar type of attack.

NEW: Business Advisor

Visit our new site for the latest features, video interviews and buying advice for small businesses. Plus enter our competition to be in with a chance to win a Dell laptop.


IDG UK Sites

Netflix to introduce price increase: New subcribers to start with

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's new OS X Beta Seed Program: Run pre-release versions of OS X on your Mac

IDG UK Sites

Twitter - not news

IDG UK Sites

See Moo Studios' new animated advert for Blue Moon beer