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Blogger System Sites Used for Phishing 33

jimbojw writes "In a recent security advisory Fortinet is reporting that due to Blogger's popularity, hackers have started to embed malicious scripts on some blogs. 'These scripts have shown up on hundreds of sites. In some cases, a variant of the Stration mass mailer is responsible for directing traffic to the sites.' CNET reports on the situation, quoting an unnamed Google representative as saying 'These are not legitimate blogs that were compromised. They appear to be deliberately set up to promote phishing, which is against our terms of service. We are investigating, and blogs found to include malicious code or promote phishing will be deleted.' The blogs in question use meta or JavaScript redirection to push traffic to a phishing or malware site. Links to the blogs are subsequently mass-mailed by infected visitors — typically via worms in the Stration family. We can only hope that this will not cause Google to remove's templating engine — which is both a source of its strength, and a potential liability as illustrated by these recent attacks."
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Blogger System Sites Used for Phishing

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  • Good old javascript (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This stuff just isn't ever going to be fixed. Some folks may not like it, but with all these silly problems, AJAX is the new MS Windows of the 21st century.

    No, that's not a troll. Just an observation that many want to cover up.
    • I am afraid I'll have to agree 100% with that statement, sorry guys.
    • by pkulak ( 815640 )
      How is adding a refresh meta tag to HTML "AJAX"?
    • Javascript its isnt insecure. Its showing vulnerabilities with the system not Javascript.

      Where is the security flaw in location.href? There is none.
  • by ehaggis ( 879721 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @02:12PM (#18378071) Homepage Journal
    That seems about right.
  • SPAM (Score:2, Interesting)

    Not to mention blogs set up just to be filled with spam. Google must give these popular sites some leeway, before delisting them.
  • by andrewd18 ( 989408 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @02:16PM (#18378121)
    What's next, hacking a release server and modifying tarballs so blog updaters everywhere become vulnerable? Oh, wait...
  • They did what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @02:16PM (#18378127)
    These sites allow you to include script? What were they thinking?

    Anybody home, McFly?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Lots of people have legitimate uses for Jscript on the website, AND google's own adwords relies on jScript to work.

      Honestly all they need to do is make the template engine scrub any script that does redirects or nasty tricks like opening popups on load.
      • Honestly all they need to do is make the template engine scrub any script that does redirects or nasty tricks like opening popups on load.

        That's not as easy as you think it is. If the javascript is sufficiently obfuscated then it will require a fairly complete environment to detect such tricks.

        I personally think it makes more sense to just not allow people to use the template engine until they've had a functioning blog with actual readers for at least a month, maybe longer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by evought ( 709897 )
          In relatively early versions of TCL, they had the ability to create a sub-interpreter. The controlling interpreter could then populate the sub-interpreter with whatever commands and environment were deemed safe and create limited connections between the interpreters. Scripts running in the sub-interpreter simply did not have access to anything else. We used this to execute user scripts and configuration files in secure setups where anything coming in from the outside could be considered suspect. This could
      • Lots of people have legitimate uses for Jscript on the website

        Yeah. It wouldn't be Web 2.0 without onMouseOver, would it.

        Still, I guess it's better than embedding fifty Flash widgets on the page just for navigation.
      • Lots of people have legitimate uses for handgrenades, but your landlord will probably not allow you to start setting them up in your apartment.

        As to point 2, won't people just come up with new nasty tricks if some are blocked? Blacklisting won't work here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Honestly all they need to do is make the template engine scrub any script that does redirects or nasty tricks like opening popups on load.

        If you find a way to do that, you will also have solved the halting-problem, in other words, that is nearly impossible to do.

        There is only one way which might be safe, supply finished javascript functions to the users to use and make it impossible to define new functions. Even that might be dangerous.

    • Well, I hope to God they can fix this without changing it too much. With the right coding, you can do damn near everything you can with a database-backed webserver.

      I mean, why pay for hosting with this kind of flexibility?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by klenwell ( 960296 )
      Agreed, but the ability to fully edit the source does make Blogger more fun than a lot of other 2.0 sites and I'd hate to see it go away.

      Interestingly, both Blogger and Googlepages are now Google services. Blogger is obviously meant for blogging and Googlepages for setting up common web pages, but Googlepages is a headache and Blogger offers the ability to edit the source. So if I need to set up a random web page on the web and I want it to look like I want it to look (and not have ads plastered all over
      • You can, in fact, edit the HTML in googlepages too... look in the lower-right corner, next to "add gadget" where it says "edit HTML" (you need the cursor in the section you want to edit.)

        But I agree -- I find the blogger interface more functional, in general. I suppose it also depends on what you're trying to accomplish too, however... there's certainly a place for googlepages.
  • That's a STRENGTH? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @02:26PM (#18378223)
    A template that allows people to slap a meta redirect into the header is strength that they hope Google will still respect? If you want to play those games, host your own site. The point of these blog-o-spaces is to let people do the easy stuff, not monkey with redirection. On the other hand, I can see how it might take, oh... at least 10 minutes to write a filter that would block the meta redirects on their side of things. That is a lot to ask, even in the face of being Google-blacked.
    • Except you can do all sorts of nasty tricks with javascript to obfuscate the redirection and other stuff. I remember a long time ago on Xanga's blog site you were allowed to put a limited subset of javascript in one section, but eventually someone can up with a way to get around the limits (I think it involved using document.write to write more javascript code) which you could then use to steal the cookies of anyone that was logged in to visit your page (so you could access most parts of their account, exc
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's not meta, it's JavaScript, see: []
      They often redirect to sites that pay for click traffic.

      My best guess is that there are about 50.000 blog spot blogs doing this, although Google, after months, seems more serious at cleaning this shit up.
  • by Flabio ( 111772 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @02:46PM (#18378505) Homepage
    ...can we call it "phlogging"?
  • Been there. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Shadyman ( 939863 )
    I've had numerous attacks against my site, which of course don't work because I don't allow script tags, but I've reported the target sites to their respective webhosts and registrars, and had at least a few blocked/cancelled/warned/etc. Most registrars and webhosts are more than happy to put these sites out of their misery.
  • OMG! (Score:1, Funny)

    What has the world come to! You spammers should all be ashamed of yourselves!!

    Visit [] ... where all of your wildest dreams will come true!!

  • i guess people nowaday like to go "Fishing"..

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"