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"Large-Scale Internet Attack" Warning Issued, Probably Nothing New Though

"Large-Scale Internet Attack" Warning Issued, Probably Nothing New Though

A story picked up off the Associated Press (AP) newswire last night telling of "a mysterious, large-scale, Internet attack against thousands of popular Web sites" has proliferated across the Net so fast and so widely that it has almost assumed virus-like proportions of its own.

According to the report, the US Homeland Security Department in Chicago is studying the virus-like infection and trying to figure out how to impede the spread of the virus, which seeks to implant "hacker type software" onto the computers of all Web site visitors who go to infected or malicious Web sites.

But what is the exact nature of the "virus-like infection" - specifically?

One expert believes it may be nothing more sinister than one of the wwo vulnerabilities already widely reported in Internet Explorer 6.0, which in combination with other known issues can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.

The Homeland Security Department alert, according to the AP report, reads ominously:

"Users should be aware that any Web site, even those that may be trusted by the user, may be affected by this activity and thus contain potentially malicious code."

But if it's nothing more than the unpatched IE bug, then this whole alert is possibly just a tad alarmist.

"Experts said the attacks were unusually broad," the AP report continues, "but were not substantially interfering with Internet traffic and recommended consumers and corporate employees to update the anti-virus software on their computers, since the latest versions can immunize visitors to infected Web sites."

More Stories By Security News Desk

SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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