The Amnesty International UK website was recently compromised for two days to serve the Gh0st RAT.
Injected via the Java exploit that led to the creation of the Apple Flashback botnet, Websense said that during 8-9 May, website users risked having sensitive data stolen and perhaps infecting other users. The issue has now been rectified.
Websense said that once an exploit is successful, a file download is initiated from a URL that includes an executable that creates a new binary file in the Windows system directory.
“Analysing this low AV detected binary file, we recognise that this is a variant of the well-known remote administration tool Gh0st RAT, which is used mainly in targeted attacks to gain complete control of infected systems,” it said.
This allows the controller to access a user's files, email, passwords and other sensitive personal information.
Carl Leonard, senior manager of Websense Security Labs, said: “Exploit kits zoom in on vulnerable websites, even ones with good intentions. With a low anti-virus detection rate, Gh0st RAT is a powerful tool that allows backdoor access into infected machines.
“Companies need effective real-time security to protect against infection. Without the right defences, it might be much more than a charity donation that the malware authors steal.”