confirms server breach after Google flags them for malware

In the wake of yesterday's flagging, confirms that two of its servers were compromised

Hours after Google's Safe Browsing initiative flagged the website for malware, confirmed that two of their servers were compromised and used to attack visitors. However, the administrators are still not sure how the attackers accessed the servers.

[ flagged for malware by Google, researchers confirm it was no false positive]

The admission follows a lengthy debate over whether or not Google incorrectly flagged the domain, and after several people connected to said they could find nothing malicious about the file in question, a JavaScript that was determined to have been altered in order to embed malicious iFrames.

According to Google's initial report on Thursday, there were only four pages on serving the malicious JavaScript file (userprefs.js), which was modified with seemingly selective obfuscated code that targeted desktop users, but ignored those on mobile devices. However, the stance that Google was wrong in their assessments has since changed:

"... the systems team have audited every server operated by, and have found that two servers were compromised: the server which hosted the, and domains, and was previously suspected based on the JavaScript malware, and the server hosting The method by which these servers were compromised is unknown at this time," a status update on explained.

Further, the SSL certificate used on was revoked out of caution, and a new one was assigned a short time after. All affected services on the two compromised servers have been migrated, and it has been confirmed that the Git repository was not compromised.

Long before the admission of a breach, security experts were certain that Google's flag was no false positive. Barracuda Labs released a pcap (packet capture) file, showing clear signs of malicious activity, including malicious Shockwave (Flash) files being delivered after the JavaScript in question was loaded. Later in the evening, Fabio Assolini, from Kaspersky Labs, reported that the iFrame created by the JavaScript was pointing to an installation of the Magnitude Exploit Kit, and it was attempting to drop an information-stealing Trojan called Tepfer.

Additional research from Trustwave's Spider Labs confirmed the Shockwave (Flash) exploit attempt, but they also discovered that the script was targeting CVE-2013-2551, an Internet Explorer flaw discovered by exploit clearinghouse VUPEN during this year's Pwn2Own competition at CanSecWest.

[Poor design fosters hacker attacks of websites running PHP]

It's unknown how many users may have been infected by the rogue JavaScript, but says the malicious code was active from October 22, until it was discovered and removed on October 24. The attack window is small, but is in the top 250 domains on the Internet, according to Alexa rankings, so the pool of potential victims is massive. user accounts will have their passwords reset over the next few days, if the account is used to commit code to any projects. A full post-mortem of the incident is expected sometime next week.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags PHP.netsecuritydata breach

More about GoogleKasperskyTrustwave

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Steve Ragan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place