Details of hijacked 24/7 ad server emerge

The attack should be a warning to the Web, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security.

Ground control to major mess

Tripod places ads on sites hosted under its free plan; customers who pay hosting fees, however, do not have ads stuck on their sites' pages.

It's not known if the only sites served with ads containing the IFrame were Tripod's. There were hints, however, that Tripod might not be the only tainted domain. Last Wednesday, for example, NASA issued a warning to workers of a surge in attacks on Windows PCs running Internet Explorer and RealPlayer. According to the space agency's bulletin, the attacks had come from "well-known news sites which may be hosting advertisements from ad servers that redirect the users to malware hosting sites." Friday, NASA spokesman Mike Mewhinney declined to name the news sites the agency suspected of displaying rogue ads.

Because 24/7 Real Media's ad research is significant, the IFrame-infected ads may have been placed on a large number of Web sites. According to the most recent data from Internet audience measurement firm comScore, 24/7's ads reached 50% of all Americans online last month. The company's reach placed it at No. 15 on comScore's September Top 50.

24/7 Real Media did not respond to e-mails sent Friday and Sunday.

Symantec couldn't pin down the start date of the attack, but it did note that the malicious site had hosted exploit code since at least Oct. 8. "There is a possibility that this IP [has been] controlled by the same attackers for quite some time and that they are using it to launch numerous low-key attacks," said Adams, Ball and Roe.

Late Friday, RealNetworks issued a patch for RealPlayer 10.5 and the RealPlayer 11 beta. It also urged users of earlier versions to first upgrade to 10.5 or 11, then apply the patch. Only Windows versions of RealPlayer are vulnerable, RealNetworks said in its advisory; Mac and Linux versions are not at risk.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?