Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

MySQL Malware Hack Cost Just $3,000

Oracle-owned site was hacked with Java to automatically begin downloading Blackhole malware onto Windows PCs.

A security firm warned Monday that the website for downloading the popular MySQL open source relational database was infecting PCs via drive-by downloads.

Browsers that visited MySQL.com Monday were immediately injected with a JavaScript executable, which generated an iFrame that redirected to a website hosting the Black Hole crimeware exploit kit. "It exploits the visitor's browsing platform (the browser, the browser plugins like Adobe Flash, Adobe PDF, etc, Java, ...), and upon successful exploitation, permanently installs a piece of malware into the visitor's machine, without the visitor's knowledge," according to a blog post written by Wayne Huang, CEO of security firm Armorize, which discovered the attack. "The visitor doesn't need to click or agree to anything; simply visiting mysql.com with a vulnerable browsing platform will result in an infection," he said.

By later on Monday, Oracle--which owns MySQL--had apparently disabled the attack.

[Are your Web-connected photocopiers, scanners, and VoIP servers compromising your enterprise security? Learn more at Corporate Espionage's New Friend: Embedded Web Servers.]

Black Hole, a copy of which can be rented for about $1,500 per year, is one of the most widely used crimeware toolkits, which are designed to automate the process of exploiting PCs and harvesting financial data. "The blackhole exploit pack supports a wide variety of exploits, so the actual exploit you get served depends on the platform you use for browsing," said Huang. "The [executable] is run by exploiting the browser with javascript / flash actionscript / PDF jscript / java exploit / etc." Furthermore, it can apparently bypass many attack mitigation technologies, including data execution prevention (DEP). "Many exploits have the ability to turn DEP off so they'd still work on Win7," he said.

Black Hole uses the Java Open Business Engine (OBE) toolkit to exploit PCs and load malicious payloads. Unfortunately, these payloads can be difficult to detect. According to security firm Websense, the crimeware's "exploits are encrypted with custom algorithms, which makes this pack difficult to analyze by [antivirus] and generic deobfuscation tools and services."

Indeed, when Armorize issued its warning about the attacks on Monday, only four out of 44 antivirus engines listed on Virus Total were detecting the drive-by attack at MySQL.com. By Tuesday, however, the number of antivirus engines that detected the attack had increased to 17.

Black Hole exploits PCs using known vulnerabilities--providing they haven't been patched--including a flaw in Windows Hardware Counter Profiling, Adobe Reader bugs, as well as numerous Java flaws. That makes the attack against MySQL.com somewhat ironic, given that Oracle owns not only MySQL, but also Java.

Interestingly, beyond Black Hole rental costs, this attack against MySQL.com--visited by an average of 40,000 people per day--may have cost just a few thousand dollars. "Late last week, I was lurking on a fairly exclusive Russian hacker forum and stumbled upon a member selling root access to mysql.com," according to security reporter Brian Krebs. "He offered to sell remote access to the first person who paid him at least USD $3,000, via the site's escrow service, which guarantees that both parties are satisfied with the transaction before releasing the funds."

This is the second time this year that the MySQL.com website has been exploited. In March, the site was compromised via a SQL injection attack, resulting in the compromise of a number of usernames and weak passwords.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
What the FedEx Logo Taught Me About Cybersecurity
Matt Shea, Head of Federal @ MixMode,  6/4/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
A View From Inside a Deception
Sara Peters, Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-23394
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-13
The package studio-42/elfinder before 2.1.58 are vulnerable to Remote Code Execution (RCE) via execution of PHP code in a .phar file. NOTE: This only applies if the server parses .phar files as PHP.
CVE-2021-34682
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
Receita Federal IRPF 2021 1.7 allows a man-in-the-middle attack against the update feature.
CVE-2021-31811
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an OutOfMemory-Exception while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-31812
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an infinite loop while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-32552
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
It was discovered that read_file() in apport/hookutils.py would follow symbolic links or open FIFOs. When this function is used by the openjdk-16 package apport hooks, it could expose private data to other local users.