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


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwaresymantecintrusionExploits / vulnerabilities

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments