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News

Hackers hit British Communist Party web site

Sophos : 08 June, 2009  (Technical Article)
Malware deposit on Communist Party site delivers drive-by infection to site visitors
Researchers at IT security and control firm Sophos have discovered that the website of the British Communist Party has had malware planted on it by hackers, designed to infect the computers of potential supporters.

Experts at Sophos are warning internet surfers that many pages on the website could infect innocent users and give cybercriminals access to their computers, as the hackers have altered a Microsoft Silverlight script so that it will execute malicious JavaScript code, identified by Sophos as Mal/Iframe-F.

'The Communist Party's website infection is invisible to the naked eye, but buried inside the code of a plugin for their webpages,' explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. 'The code is designed to deliver funky animation and video effects to website visitors - but actually tries to invisibly download malicious code from web servers based in China and Russia.'

Sophos recommends that as cybercriminals have increasingly turned to using legitimate websites to spread viruses and Trojans, computer users need to properly protect themselves from the threat.

'The Communist Party of Great Britain may not have been deliberately targeted by politically-minded hackers - it could just be that they are one of the 30,000 or so legitimate websites we see every day that have become infected because of lax security,' continued Cluley. 'All computer users need to learn that it's not just adult and gambling websites that are dangerous - any website, if not properly secured, can fall victim and leave you seeing red. This is hardly the way to encourage people to support your political party.'

At the time of writing the Communist Party of Great Britain's website is still compromised, and Sophos recommends that computer users do not visit the site.
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