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Attacks/Breaches

Geek.com Site Hacked Via Exploit Kit

Popular website is serving up malware, Zscaler researchers say

Geek.com, one of the Web's most popular technology sites, has been hacked and is serving malware to visitors, security researchers at Zscaler said yesterday.

"It has come to our attention that many different pages [on Geek.com] -- like the main homepage and about us page -- are infected with malicious iFrames pointing to different malicious sites," Zscaler said in a blog.

According to the blog, hackers injected a malicious HTML iFrame, or script tag, into the legitimate pages on the site.

Hackers inserted malicious code on the first article on the Geek.com home page, among others, the researchers say. "As this is first article is highlighted --and 'Call of Duty' is a very popular game -- one can assume that many people have fallen victim to this attack," the blog says. The article was published on May 13, and the malicious iFrame is injected at the bottom of the page, the researchers say.

"The malicious iFrame redirects victims to a malicious website hosting an exploit kit," Zscaler says. "Once you visit, heavily obfuscated JavaScript is returned which will target various known vulnerabilities." The resulting exploit looks much the same as those from other exploit kits, the blog says.

Neil Daswani, CTO of anti-malware vendor Dasient, confirmed the Zscaler research.

"The attack on Geek.com tells us that it is often the most tech-savvy websites that are at risk for getting infected," Daswani says. "We conducted a quick malware risk assessment on Geek.com's public-facing website, and found that over two-thirds of the pages had third-party JavaScript, external iFrames, and also an out-of-date version of a blogging package.

"While these third-party resources were all legitimate, any of these third-party resources or a Web application vulnerability could have been used as a backdoor to infect the site," Daswani says. "Website owners should conduct malware risk assessments."

Zscaler says such attacks are commonplace. "Unfortunately, we see hundreds of attacks such as this each and every day," the blog says. "Many legitimate websites are being compromised by taking advantages of poor coding practices in web applications. Attackers are constantly on the lookout for popular websites or top news sites as targets for their attacks. Users need to be aware that no site is a safe site."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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