Once installed, the new software can then be used to steal personal information or enlist a compromised machine in attacks on other machines. According to security vendor Websense, the attack now affects over 10,000 Web sites worldwide and that list continues to grow. According to Trend Micro, servers hosting some of the malicious code have been traced to Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Hong Kong.
The attack, dubbed Mpack, uses cross-site scripting to place malicious iFrames on legitimate Web sites. Iframes are used by Web designers to open additional windows (often hosted on other sites) within a main Web page; iframes can also be used by criminal hackers to redirect browsers to malicious-code sites. Trend Micro believes this latest attack was automated. Websense reports that the server where users are re-directed includes a counter that shows large numbers of visitors from Italy, Spain, and the United States.