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11/8/2007
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MySpace Hacked, Exploits Target Alicia Keys' Page And Others

Visiting the page exposes the visitor to an exploit that installs malware unless the user is fully patched against the most recent security vulnerabilities.

Avoid Alicia Keys' Web page on MySpace. It's been hacked.

Roger Thompson, CTO at Exploit Prevention Labs, has found multiple hacked MySpace pages, including the page for Alicia Keys, the social networking site's fourth most popular music artist.

In keeping with what appears to be a new trend among security researchers, Thompson has released a video depicting the hack on YouTube. He also has posted details on his blog.

Visiting the page exposes the visitor to an exploit that installs malware unless the user is fully patched against the most recent security vulnerabilities. "They're using an exploit to install software in the background," Thompson explains in the video.

Even those with patched systems are vulnerable. The hackers have found a way to associate their malicious URL with what would normally be a non-clickable background area on the Web page. The result is that clicks outside specific clickable controls get captured and interpreted as a click on the malicious URL.

"If you click anywhere outside a given control, [the malicious URL] will be the default control that it goes to," Thompson explains. "It's a really interesting technique and it's going to catch a lot of people."

"What's not clear at this point is how they're doing it, and how widespread it is," Thompson says on his blog. "Neither Google nor MySpace seems to be indexing the critical bit of HTML. If you search for the exploit site (co8vd.cn), the only results seem to be victims, or people talking about victims."

In a conversation via instant message, Thompson said that social networking sites are increasingly become vectors of attack. "The whole point of browser stuff is that it bypasses the firewall," he explained.

A spokesperson for MySpace wasn't immediately available to comment on the attack.

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