Twin Campaigns Compromise Websites to Infect Visitors
A recent malware effort has compromised more than 40,000 Web pages with malicious code, while an older one continues to spread ransomware.A malware campaign has infected at least 40,000 Web pages in the past two weeks with malicious code that could infect visitors' computers with a program that poses as a media player, according to security firm Websense. The attack, known as GWLoad, compromises legitimate Websites to host malicious code to then be delivered to users. The attack uses social engineering to convince users to install another program and then uses a variety of methods, including locking Web pages until the user clicks on ads, to cash in on its compromise of the victim's computer. GWLoad is not alone in its success: Websense found that the infrastructure created by the malicious program resembles that of an older campaign, known as CookieBomb, which continues to compromise Websites and infect users. The ability for such malicious infrastructure to exist for years or months is surprising, Alex Watson, director of security research for Websense Labs, told eWEEK. "It blows my mind that these campaigns have been relevant for so long with minor tweaks to their obfuscation techniques and their delivery methods," he said. "A combination of very small investments in obfuscating code has enabled them to bypass most antivirus systems and continue to exist in the wild."
Both GWLoad and CookieBomb have a significant overlap in the sites that they have infected, suggesting some link between the two campaigns. It's possible that the two infection networks have leased the same botnet for infections, but more likely that they are both using the same attack to find and compromise Websites. A search on Google or the Shodan scanning database would reveal a similar list of vulnerable sites and could explain the overlap.