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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Mass Infection via SQL Injection of IIS Websites

Posted June 9, 2010    Chris Silva

Multiple security outlets have released reports regarding a mass SQL injection attack that has compromised a large number of public websites – Google search results currently show that over 100,000 pages have been infected.

This attack targets Microsoft IIS servers running both ASP and MSSQL.  The automated injection routine appears to leverage a vulnerability in a widely installed third party advertisement management script.

The payload used in this attack injects a script onto websites which will then redirect visitors to a malicious domain.  The malicious domain then tries to exploit client-side vulnerabilities in an attempt to install malware on unsuspecting site visitors.

If you are hosting your website using Microsoft IIS, check out the SANS Internet Storm Center for additional information:

http://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=8935

At the time of this writing, the malicious domain is no longer hosting malware even though the injected links still remain on the affected sites.  However during exploitation, one of the malware samples collected would attempt to place a file at “c:\c.exe”.  Upon execution by the exploit, this file would in-turn download additional malicious components onto the victim’s machine completely compromising its integrity.

Attacks like this highlight the growing importance of vulnerability management, particularly for web servers.   It also calls to attention the need to not only evaluate and protect your site content, but also any third party components or scripts you may be using.

Our recommendations:

1) Prevent web site attacks with effective web server protection: An application-layer solution works best to inspect requests as they come in from the network and at every level of processing in between. If at any point a possible attack is detected, a solution like this will take over and prevent unauthorized access and/or damage to the web server and host applications.  

2) Look for solutions with IIS ISAPI Integration: Solutions developed as an ISAPI filter allow for tighter integration with the web server as compared to other application firewalls. Look for a solution that monitors data as it is processed by IIS, blocking any requests that resemble one of many classes of attack patterns; including SQL injection and cross site scripting.

3) As a site visitor, make sure you have zero-day protection: Look for solutions that use multiple security filters to inspect web server traffic that could cause buffer overflows, parser evasions, directory traversal, or other attacks. This enables blocking of entire classes of attacks, including those attacks that have not yet been discovered.

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