Instead of news, UK paper delivered ransomware

The Independent has now cleaned up the infection, Trend Micro said

A major UK newspaper is cleaning up its website after a criminals tried to deliver ransomware to thousands of its readers.

The attack affected the blogs section of The Independent newspaper's website, Joseph C. Chen, a fraud researcher with Trend Micro, said in a blog post Tuesday.

"We have already informed The Independent about this security incident and are working with them to contain the situation," Chen wrote. "For their part, the news website staff was quick to respond and take action to mitigate the risk this event posed to the website itself and its user base."

The Independent's blogs section runs on WordPress, a publishing platform that occasionally has software vulnerabilities in itself or in add-on components.

The cyberattackers were able to compromise pages, redirecting viewers to an exploit kit that probed their computer for vulnerabilities. Chen said he identified the exploit kit as Angler, a widely used one.

Angler then tried to exploit out-of-date Flash players. It specifically targeted a remote execution flaw patched by Adobe Systems in mid-October, CVE-2015-7645. An exploit for the flaw was the latest Trend has found added to Angler.

the independent angler exploit kit Trend Micro

Trend Micro shows a mashup of screenshots illustrating how the Angler exploit kit abused the blogs section of The Independent's website.

If the attack successfully compromised a user's machine, it delivered the Cryptesla 2.2.0 ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts a user's files and demands a payment for the key to decrypt them.

Websites that draw a lot of traffic are attractive to criminals since they allow them to infect a lot of computers in a short time. The Independent ranks 50th among websites in the U.K., according to Alexa.

Join the 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.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?