Menu
Hackers hoped for slam dunk on Japan Basketball Association website

Hackers hoped for slam dunk on Japan Basketball Association website

The sole attack using a recent IE zero-day was on the JBA's website, linked to a high-ranking government official, Symantec said

The sole attack using a recent Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability was against the Japan Basketball Association's website, according to Symantec.

The sole attack using a recent Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability was against the Japan Basketball Association's website, according to Symantec.

The sole target detected by Symantec of attacks using a recent Internet Explorer vulnerability was the website of the Japan Basketball Association, whose chairman is a high-ranking Japanese government official.

Symantec detected three attacks since mid-February where hackers inserted malicious code on the JBA's website that redirected people to other servers rigged to deliver malware, wrote Joji Hamada on the company's blog. Such "watering hole" attacks intend to stealthily compromise visitors to a legitimate website.

"The website may have been considered a good entry point or gateway to the Japanese government," Hamada wrote.

The third time the JBA's landing page was modified by hackers came just after the disclosure of a zero-day vulnerability, CVE-2014-0324, in the Internet Explorer browser, he wrote.

Microsoft patched the vulnerability in its March update. It affected IE8 through IE11 and could allow an attacker to execute code remotely if a victim visited a tampered website. Symantec investigated attacks using the flaw, but found the JBA's website was the only one it detected that was affected, Hamada wrote.

So why attack the JBA's website? Hamada wrote that the JBA's chairman is also the current deputy prime minister and Japan's minister of finance, Taro Aso. That suggests the attackers may have been looking for a way into government systems. Aso was also prime minister of Japan between 2008 and 2009.

"A link such as this may perhaps be the motive for the watering hole attack on the JBA's website," he wrote.

The attack methods were designed to thwart security researchers from deeper probing. The malicious code on the JBA's landing page bounced potential victims to a server hosting the website of a Korean cafe, which hosted the exploit code, Hamada wrote. That website was likely unaware it had been compromised.

The JavaScript code on the cafe's website checked to see if the victim had ever landed on the page before. If so, the visitor's browser was not directed to the exploit code. The JavaScript also checked the OS version, the version of Microsoft Office installed and the OS' language, Hamada wrote.

If all checks were fine, the victim was redirected to another exploit server in Seoul. The server was suspected of delivering more malicious code, but Symantec couldn't download it.

"The attackers had either a strategy to close shop quickly to make their campaign short lived or some sophisticated evasion technique was implemented to prevent security researchers from downloading the payload," Hamada wrote.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intrusionsymantecsecurityExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Featured

Slideshows

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island

​Ingram Micro’s Hooked on Lenovo incentive programme recently rewarded 28 of New Zealand's top performing resellers with a full-on fishing trip at Great Barrier Island for the third year​ in a row.

Tight lines as Hooked on Lenovo catches up at Great Barrier Island
Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney

Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney

As the dust settles on the 2017 AWS Summit in Sydney, ARN looks back an action packed two-day event, covering global keynote presentations, 80 breakout sessions on the latest technology solutions, and channel focused tracks involving local cloud stories and insights.

Inside the AWS Summit in Sydney
Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day

Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day

Ingram Micro hosted its third annual Cure Kids Charity Golf Tournament at the North Shore Golf Club in Auckland. In total, 131 resellers, vendors and Ingram Micro suppliers enjoyed a round of golf consisting of challenges on each of the 18 sponsored holes, with Team Philips taking out the top honours.

Channel tees off on the North Shore as Ingram Micro hosts annual Cure Kids Charity golf day
Show Comments