Google advert exploit attack analysed

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 1, 2007

Video demonstrates malware infiltration via ads for legitimate sites.

Details continue to emerge of a serious attack using the Google Adwords advertising system to lure unsuspecting victims to malicious exploit sites. Links placed in advertising accompanying Google search results ended up at the proper, legitimate sites of the organisations being advertised, including the Better Business Bureau, but got there via sites which used exploits to initiate drive-by downloads of backdoor and data-gathering malware.

Analysis of the attack, released last week by Exploit Prevention Labs, shows how the lack of mouse-over details of sponsored links carried by Google hid the redirection, and how MDAC vulnerabilities were used to gain remote access to vulnerable systems led through the malicious pages. As well as backdoor trojans for remote control of victims, other malware designed to gather sensitive online banking details for a wide range of banking services was deployed.

Google has since shut down the suspect advertising accounts, preventing further misdirections, but no information is yet available as to how many people were affected by the attack.

A release from Exploit Prevention Labs, including links to a YouTube video demonstrating the attack in progress, is here, with more technical detail in a blog entry here. Commentary from McAfee is here.

Posted on 01 May 2007 by Virus Bulletin



Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: APT cases exploiting vulnerabilities in region-specific software

At VB2019, JPCERT/CC's Shusei Tomonaga and Tomoaki Tani presented a paper on attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in software used only in Japan, using malware that is unique to Japan. Today we publish both their paper and the recording of their…

New paper: Detection of vulnerabilities in web applications by validating parameter integrity and data flow graphs

In a follow-up to a paper presented at VB2019, Prismo Systems researchers Abhishek Singh and Ramesh Mani detail algorithms that can be used to detect SQL injection in stored procedures, persistent cross-site scripting (XSS), and server‑side request…

VB2020 programme announced

VB is pleased to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2020, the 30th Virus Bulletin International Conference.

VB2019 paper: Cyber espionage in the Middle East: unravelling OSX.WindTail

At VB2019 in London, Jamf's Patrick Wardle analysed the WindTail macOS malware used by the WindShift APT group, active in the Middle East. Today we publish both Patrick's paper and the recording of his presentation.

VB2019 paper: 2,000 reactions to a malware attack – accidental study

At VB2019 cybercrime journalist and researcher Adam Haertlé presented an analysis of almost 2000 unsolicited responses sent by victims of a malicious email campaign. Today we publish both his paper and the recording of his presentation.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.