E-commerce attack is imminent, warn security experts

Monday, 26 July 2004, 12:47 PM EST

A surge in internet scanning activity in the past week could indicate a fresh wave of attacks on e-commerce servers, UK-based web services company Netcraft warned.

The firm has detected a surge in scans of port 443, used by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a technology designed for securely transmitting financial data such as e-commerce transactions. The surge began on 15 July, the day before the public disclosure of a critical flaw in a server module called mod_ssl.

The last time Netcraft observed similar activity was in April, shortly before a wave of attacks on SSL servers that included the compromise of some major e-commerce sites. Attackers used a flaw in Microsoft's implementation of SSL to install malicious code known as "Scob" or "Download.ject" on servers, which in turn implanted a Trojan horse on vulnerable PCs.

By Matthew Broersma at Computer Weekly.

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