A hard-to-detect piece of malware that doesn’t create any files on the affected systems was dropped onto the computers of visitors to popular news sites in Russia in a drive-by download attack, according to security researchers from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab.
Drive-by download attacks are one of the primary methods of distributing malware over the Web. They usually exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software products to infect computers without requiring user interaction.
Kaspersky Lab researchers recently investigated such an attack on visitors to www.ria.ru, a website that belongs to the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, and www.gazeta.ru, a popular Russian-language online newspaper.
The attack code loaded an exploit for a known Java vulnerability (CVE-2011-3544), but it wasn’t hosted on the affected websites themselves. Instead, it was served to their visitors through banners displayed by a third-party advertising service called AdFox — via redwolf.newsvine.com