Researchers at Finjan have uncovered a database of more than 8,700 stolen FTP server credentials, including passwords, user names and server addresses.
The San Jose, Calif-based company revealed the findings in a report released today. The FTP credentials could allow a hacker to compromise servers. According to the company, 2,621 of the stolen accounts are from the United States. Among the stolen accounts are Fortune-level global companies in a variety of industries and government agencies and include some of the world's top domains as ranked by Alexa.com.
"The type of domains that are on the list, we're talking here top domains in the world, like top 500, top 100," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan.
At the back end of the attack server, the company found what it called a trading application that rates the quality of the stolen accounts based on the location of the FTP server to which the account enables a login for and the Google PageRank of the compromised site. This information enables the server administrator to put a price tag on the compromised site, according to the Finjan report.
The application also allows hackers to manage FTP credential information to automatically inject IFRAME tags to Web pages on the compromised server.
Finjan researchers uncovered the database containing the stolen data while examining a server hosting the latest version of the NeoSploit crimeware toolkit. Ben-Itzhak cited this as an example of cyber-criminals taking a software-as-a-service approach to malware distribution. Through the trading application, hackers have an instant solution to their problem of gaining access to FTP credentials and infecting both legitimate Web sites and their unsuspecting visitors, he said.
"You don't need to go and compromise a Web site because their credentials are already available for you there," the CTO said. "All you have to do is to select."
The stolen FTP credentials on the database seem to have been harvested previously using Trojans, he said. Outside of the United States, the largest number of stolen FTP accounts came from the Russia Federation, at 1,247. Finjan officials said organizations can inquire if their FTP servers' credentials have been stolen by contacting the company.