By John Leyden
16th April 2008
The source of the mystery infection of more than 10,000 websites back in
January has been uncovered.
Thousands of legitimate websites were compromised at the start of the
year to serve up malware, as we reported  at the time.
It seemed  that the exploitation of SQL Injection vulnerabilities was
involved in the automated attacks. The precise mechanism was unclear
until earlier this week when security researchers discovered a malicious
executable later linked to the attack on a hacker site.
The hacker utility used search engines to find insecure websites that it
then tried to exploit using an SQL injection attack. The exploit
included an SQL statement that tried to inject a script tag into every
HTML page on the website.
The tool - which had an interface written in Chinese - was programmed by
featured in the January attack, solid evidence that it was at least
partially behind the assault.
The tool runs a script called pay.asp, hosted on a server in China. This
suggests that hackers running the attack were keeping count of the
number of sites they had compromised, in order to work out how much they
stand to get paid.
Further analysis of the tool by security researchers at the SANS
Institute's Internet Storm Centre (ISC) is ongoing. The tool came to
their attention via a tip-off from Dr Neal Krawetz. The initial attack
was uncovered by security researcher Mary Landesman, of ScanSafe, who
described it as the time as a new type of compromise.
compromised sites made initial analysis difficult. With the benefit of
the hacker tool used to pull off the attack this all becomes much
clearer, much like it was easier for scientists to unravel a cure for
the mystery pandemic that blighted mankind in the Twelve Monkies 
after they obtained a sample of the pure source.
"The nice thing about this is that we finally managed to confirm that it
is SQL Injection that was used in those attacks. The tool has more
functionality that we still have to analyze but this is the main
purpose," writes ISC handler Bojan Zdrnja.
Website owners ought to use the discovery as a wake up call on the need
to ensure that their web applications are secure, he added.
Let identityLoveSock take your personal information into
their wanting hands. http://www.identity-love-sock.com/
Because victims have money too.