Attackers exploited ColdFusion vulnerability to install Microsoft IIS malware

The malware works as an IIS module and can capture data entered by users in Web forms

Attackers exploited a vulnerability in Adobe ColdFusion to install data-stealing malware that works as a module for Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server software.

Researchers from security firm Trustwave recently reported they've identified IIS (Internet Information Server) Web servers infected with malicious IIS modules designed to steal information submitted by users on websites hosted on those servers.

The modules are rogue DLL (dynamic link library) files and were installed by a malware program the Trustwave researchers dubbed ISN that infects both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of IIS6 and IIS7+.

ISN detects the IIS version and installs the corresponding DLL module, which then monitors POST requests -- data submissions -- to specific URLs and saves the information to a log file.

This method allows the data to be collected even if the connection between the user and the server is protected by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). The captured data can be, for example, personal and payment details entered on an e-commerce site running on a compromised IIS server. The rogue DLLs also enables attackers to send certain commands through URL parameters in order to download the stored information.

In a new blog post Friday, the researchers revealed that ISN is being installed on the compromised IIS servers by exploiting a remote authentication bypass vulnerability in Adobe ColdFusion, a Web application platform.

Adobe released a patch for the vulnerability, identified as CVE-2013-0629, back in January, a few weeks after warning customers that the vulnerability was being actively exploited in attacks.

In this case, the attackers are exploiting CVE-2013-0629 to install a backdoor application called a Web shell that allows them to execute shell commands on the underlying operating system.

The Trustwave researchers traced such a ColdFusion compromise that led to the installation of ISN back to the end of February, over a month after Adobe issued its patch. "In this particular incident, the victim organization was aware of the vulnerability report by Adobe, however they were on a quarterly patching process and had not yet installed the patch," the Trustwave researchers said.

The incident outlines a problem many organizations have when it comes adjusting their patching schedules to keep up with today's attackers who are targeting newly disclosed vulnerabilities much faster than in previous years.

It also shows that ColdFusion represents an interesting target for attackers. Adobe warned customers two times this year about ColdFusion vulnerabilities that had no patches and were already being actively exploited by attackers. In April hackers broke into the management servers and customer database of Linode, a virtual private server hosting firm, by exploiting a previously unknown ColdFusion vulnerability.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchestrustwaveMicrosoftsecurityadobepatch managementExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?