Watering hole campaign targeting “Reporters without Borders” visitors

Watering hole attacks continue unabated and, according to Avast’s Director of Threat Intelligence Jindrich Kubec, the finger could be safely pointed to China once again.

The latest website compromised to redirect visitors to sites serving exploits for the recently patched IE zero-day vulnerability and two Java flaws (CVE-2013-0422 and CVE-2011-3544) is the official site of Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontières), an international non-governmental organization advocating freedom of the press and freedom of information.

“Such an organization is an ideal target for a watering hole campaign, as it seems right now the miscreants concentrate only on human rights/political sites – many Tibetan, some Uygur, and some political parties in Hong Kong and Taiwan which are the latest hits in this operation,” Kubec commented.

If the exploits are successful, the unsuspecting visitors are saddled with Remote Access Trojans that contact a number of domains in Singapore and Hong Kong, and allow attackers to access the victims’ computer and spy on their activities.

The attackers are obviously betting on the fact that many users take their own sweet time when it comes to updating or patching their software.

Reporters Without Borders have been notified of the compromise of their site and have since cleaned it up.

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