Malvertising Campaign Targets 2014 FIFA World Cup Fans

As interest in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Brazil men's soccer tournament grows, cyber-attacks are beginning to show up.

Web attacks

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup international men's soccer tournament in Brazil gets closer to its kickoff on June 12, hackers are taking aim at fans. Security firm Trustwave today is warning about a malvertising campaign running on popular Brazilian sports site

In a malvertising campaign, a Web advertisement is infected with some form of malware that can redirect users to a malicious site or a download. Ziv Mador, director of security research at Trustwave, told eWEEK that the malvertising is using a malicious Adobe Flash file.

The Flash file, in turn, is taking advantage of a vulnerability technically known as CVE-2014-0515, which was first disclosed and patched by Adobe in April.

Trustwave's analysis suggests that the malvertising attackers used a technique that corrupted the ActionScript vector size value within the Flash file to possibly hide and evade detection. As such, whether or not an antivirus technology can detect the malicious Flash file is not certain. Mador noted that antivirus protection really depends on how antivirus vendors implement their detection rule for the CVE-2014-0515 vulnerability.

The site was notified of the malvertising campaign, and measures are being taken to fix the problem, according to Trustwave.

Mador said that as far as Trustwave can tell, this attack is the first such malvertising attack related to the upcoming FIFA World Cup event. The Lance site, he added, is a popular site for sports in Brazil that naturally covers the World Cup event and other sports-related events.

In terms of how the attack was detected, Mador said Trustwave gets telemetry reports from a wide range of sources.

"This one was detected by our Trustwave Secure Web Gateway servers, and that's how we spotted this attack," Mador said. "Trustwave Secure Web Gateway detects and filters out malware in real time and helps protect businesses from zero-day vulnerabilities and data loss."

For end users and enterprises, there are a number of steps that can be taken to provide online security during the FIFA World Cup event.

"During the World Cup and other major sports events, many employees browse the Web for score updates, live streaming video, etc., and may visit this site," Mador said. "Businesses should have anti-malware technologies in place such as gateways that can detect and filter out malware in real time."

Anti-malware gateway technology protects users from blended threats, data loss and zero-day vulnerabilities and helps users use the Web and cloud applications securely, he said.

The other key recommendation that Mador made is one that is often repeated: Update your software.

"Users should make sure they keep all their software updated with the latest patches," Mador said. "In this case, if the latest patch for Adobe Flash is installed, the exploit would fail."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.