Malware-spreaders are hacking into vulnerable WordPress-powered sites in order to drive traffic towards pages loaded with exploits.
Hundreds of websites based on WordPress 3.2.1 have been compromised so that surfers directed to the Wordpress-built sites via email links are exposed to the Phoenix exploit kit, M86 Security warns.
In order to lure users to compromised pages, the attacker has spammed out thousands of malicious emails querying an unfamiliar bill and asking recipients to click on a link. (Web security firm Websense separately warned of this spam run late last week.)
The link points to a page on compromised WordPress sites (the sites appear legitimate to spam filters) that includes a hidden iFrame, which loads the Phoenix exploit kit from a Russian-hosted server.
Arriving at the page puts surfers in the firing line of a page that attempts exploit multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Adobe PDF, Flash and Oracle Java. The attack is ultimately designed to distribute a information-harvesting Trojan, dubbed Cridex-B.
"The exploit page is hosted in a Russian domain called horoshovsebudet which roughly translates as 'Everything will be fine', showing a certain sense of humor by these attackers," M86 Security notes.
A full-write up of the attack, including screenshots, can be found in a blog post by M86 Security here.
The Phoenix exploit kit is creeping up on the coattails of the notorious Black Hole Exploit kit at the cybercrime toolkit of choice for hackers looking for booby-trap legitimate websites. Source code for Phoenix was leaked onto the net last April and it has grown in popularity since then. ®