Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Amnesty UK website hacked to serve lethal Gh0st RAT Trojan

Chinese link likely

Article comments

Amnesty International’s UK website was hacked to host the dangerous Gh0st RAT Trojan for two days this week, security firm Websense has revealed.

Attacking browsers unpatched against the common CVE-2012-0507 Java vulnerability (also used by the Mac Flashback Trojan), between 8 and 9 May visitors would have been at risk of downloading a Windows executable hiding behind a valid VeriSign-issued digital certificate.

Anyone clicking Ok to this install trick would have become infected with Gh0st RAT, a potent backdoor Trojan used to cull passwords and files and just about anything else the attacker wants to take from the infected system.

The injected web code was removed after Websense alerted Amnesty to the issue.

The attack bears all the hallmarks of a series of attacks that appear to be targeting pro-Tibet organisations and sympathisers, most likely by a group connected to China.

In March, Gh0st RAT was part of the ‘ByShe’ attack aimed at the Central Tibet Administration and International Campaign for Tibet using a malicious Word attachment. That attack also exploited a VeriSign-issued digital certificate, on that occasion one that had been revoked.

The certificate used in the latest Amnesty attack was issued to a Chinese Shenzen-based company, while Gh0st RAT itself is associated with the active Chinese GhostNet hacking group.

“Exploit kits zoom in on vulnerable websites, even ones with good intentions,” said Websense Security Labs senior manager, Carl Leonard. “This compromise is more serious than your average. With a low AV detection rate, Gh0st RAT is a powerful tool that allows backdoor access into infected machines.”

Last week Websense reported that the National Security Studies (INSS) website had been compromised using the same CVE-2012-0507 Java vulnerability to serve the Poison Ivy Trojan, a relative of Gh0st RAT with the same data-stealing design.

The lesson, as always, is not to install anything unexpected, closing a browser process manually if presented with a Windows User Account Control message that seems suspicious.

Browsers should always be carefully patched, including plug-ins for commonly-targeted software such as Java and Flash.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *