Hackers Co-Opt Comedy Central and Other Websites to Steal User Passwords

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

The unpermitted and surreptitious use of legitimate websites by hackers to steal the passwords and other sensitive information of users visiting those sites is on the rise.

This is illustrated in blazing highlights by the brazen use of the Comedy Central website over the weekend, along with several other sites. In each instance, the hackers had managed to install a virus on the website. In addition to grabbing sensitive data, the virus was also able to inject other programs onto the visiting user’s computer.


But that’s not where it ends. In a rather brilliant twist, the hackers drove traffic to the infected sites by planting seemingly legitimate ads which actually drove those who clicked the ads to the infected sites, on other sites!

The sites which unknowingly featured the bogus ads included TheRegister.co.uk, and Ilse.nl, a large Internet company in the Netherlands.

How, you may ask, did the hackers manage to plant the malicious advertisements?

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Completing their trifecta, the hackers took control of of German advertising firm Falk Solutions AG.

Got that? So they 1) took control of the advertising firm, used that advantage to plant nefarious code in the 2) advertisements which featured in places like The Register, so that 3) when users clicked on the ads, they were driven to the legitimate websites, but with altered code which drove them to where the virus lay in wait to 4) steal their passwords and infect their own machines.

Diabolical.

 

Fortunately, this only appears to affect those who are using Internet Explorer, and who have not installed the Service Pack 2 software upgrade for XP. If you or your users are in this category, please update your system right away!

You can read more about this at the Washington Post.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Hackers Co-Opt Comedy Central and Other Websites to Steal User Passwords

  1. Why does it seem the hackers are allways one step ahead of. The software to deny them access to so many pc. maybe i have a over active imagnation in away to deal with these hackers. Would it be pratical to seat up a world wide web of decoy super pc. To direct these hackers into these decoy system. lIke a trap to cage these hackers in a worldwide decoy web based system . Are maybe this idea is to far fetched and not pratical.

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