Monday, 28 April 2008 03:32

SQL injection attack hits hundreds of thousands of web pages

By
An automated SQL injection attack has affected a large number of web sites - as in hundreds of thousands of pages - resulting in malware being downloaded to visitors' computers.

The attack appears to take advantage of features of Microsoft SQL Server, though according to security vendor F-Secure the problem lies in poor site coding, not in vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software. SQL injection is a well-known technique for attacking sites, and one that professional web developers should know they need to guard against.

Affected sites include some operated by the United Nations and the US, UK and Australian governments or their agencies.

According to F-Secure, the domains hosting the malicious content ultimately delivered by the hack are nmidahena.com, aspder.com and nihaorr1.com.

Some reports have suggested the problem is linked to an unpatched flaw in IIS that surfaced last week, but Microsoft has categorically denied that is the case. "We have also determined that these attacks are in no way related to Microsoft Security Advisory (951306)," wrote communications manager Bill Sisk in the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

"The attacks are facilitated by SQL injection exploits and are not issues related to IIS 6.0, ASP, ASP.Net or Microsoft SQL technologies," he added.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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