Popular Science site shrugs off malicious code infection

No warning, no response... at least it killed the code


Surfers visiting Popular Science would be well advised to check their systems following an attack that has left the site compromised and harbouring malicious code.

Security firm Websense warns that visiting the site exposed surfers to the RIG exploit kit. The malicious code was removed on Wednesday, but a number of surfers may still be harbouring infections after being sprayed with malicious code earlier this week.

RIG is a hacker tool that uses client-side software exploits to push malware payloads onto the Windows PCs of visiting surfers. The RIG Exploit Kit features exploit code for various vulnerable plug-ins such as Java, Flash and SilverLight, according to Websense.

The hacker tool, which first surfaced in April, has been linked with the distribution of the particularly nasty CryptoWall ransomware.

Websense notified Popular Science – which gets more than 4.5 million visitors a month – of the compromise prior to going public on Tuesday, at which point the site was still contaminated with malicious code.

El Reg put in a queries via both Twitter and email to senior editor Paul Adams but has yet to hear back from the popular science site.

Failing to respond the media and security firms during a breach (Kaspersky Lab's Threatpost story here) is one thing, but what's harder to justify is that PopSci appears to have made no attempt to warn surfers that it may have had a problem.

The threat on the Popular Science website persisted for more than 24 hours, between 08:00 on Tuesday 28 October until around 12:00 on Wednesday 29 October, according to Websense.

We will update if we hear more. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022