Olympics news sites hit with attacks

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Hackers are using SQL injection attacks to infect websites with updates on the Olympics, according to a Sophos blog post.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos, a security software company, wrote that the SQL injection attack was designed to install malware onto users' computers. The attack drags malware from a third-party Russian site, turning personal computers into bots.

Apparently, several sites that received a news feed from Agence-France Presse, were infected, including NDTV.com (New Delhi Television Limited), a popular Indian news website. 

“NDTV didn't properly defend their web server,” Cluley told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday. “And it got infected with an SQL injection. Anyone reading about the Olympics on this site risked getting infected.”

AFP, he added, did not appear to be infected. “It's important to realize that AFP is not to blame,” Cluley noted on his blog. “But if you are syndicating content around the web you might be wise to inform your customers and users of the importance of properly hardening their infrastructure to avoid bringing your company's name into disrepute.”

Cluley also said NDTV was alerted to the problem, and he believed the vulnerability has been fixed.

The Olympics have been a popular target for hackers this summer, security experts say.

Tom Clare, senior director of product marketing for network security and management systems company, Blue Coat, told SCMagazineUS.com that using major events as a target for spam or other malicious attacks is growing more common.

“The Olympics are the lure right now,” Clare said. “Any popular news source is going to be targeted for an attack because of the volume of traffic.”

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