How to exploit iFramed based traffic E-shop for illegal activities

Pierluigi Paganini October 08, 2013

What is an E-shop for iFramed traffic and how does cybercrime exploit it? In this post thanks to the investigation of the incredible Dancho Danchev I’ll try to answer to these questions.

On numerous occasion I remarked the need to carefully observe the evolution of the underground market to identify dangerous trends that can leave portend a new wave of cyber crimes. The increasing availability of free, commercial availability of mass Web site hacking tools, the lack of proper security configurations and the inefficiency of defense systems is allowing cybercrime to monetize the compromise process.

Today cybercriminals could  easily find vulnerable websites using commercial available DIY hacking tool based on Google Dorks and use many other tools to exploit known vulnerabilities in the targeted hosts. In the recent months security firms have detected numerous attacks on global scale against forum and blogging platforms.

Once infected a host could be recruited as part of a botnet to conduct DDoS attacks or could be used to serve a malware, last discovery of Danchev is an iFramed based traffic E-shops and the offer of access to hijacked legitimate traffic to be later on converted to malware-infected hosts.

There are numerous methods for monetizing managing a portion of hijacked Web traffic, through of blackhat SEO (search engine optimization), DNS cache poisoning, RFI (Remote File Inclusion) or spam/phishing campaigns tactics traffic is sold and resold to achieve criminals purposes.

iFramed based Traffic Eshop


Using IFrame tag, the attackers inject malicious links (link to compromised host that serve malware) using Cross site Scripting in popular websites.  Visiting a page containing the iFrame tag the user is redirected to a website that serve a malware.

Using Iframe Injection hackers perform different operations, including the injection of advertisements inside any other websites, the insertion of malware infected site links and redirection to malware infected sites.

In an IFrame Injection Attack hackers are able to include the webpage one pixel square (victim is not able to see it in webpage), they also obfuscate the JavaScript that will run automatically from that included page so that it looks something like %6C%20%66%72%61%6D%65%62%6F deceiving the victims.

The iFramed based traffic E-shop offers 5000 visits for $15, 50,000 visits for $100 and 100,000 visits for $175 but very interesting is the possibility to acquire geolocated traffic consisting of American, French, British and Canadian visitors, a feature very attractive for cybercriminals.

The iFramed based traffic E-shop according Danchev opens up two possibilities for abuse:

  • Directly embedding exploits and malware serving from URLs – cybercriminals could hide client-side exploit serving URLs in the form of iFrame on the hacked websites. Cybercriminals could infect with these techniques visitors of websites serving malicious payload.
  • ‘Visual social engineering’ campaigns displayed on Adult Web sites – a typical campaign could take advantage of the same ‘instant action provoking’ visual social engineering campaigns that are typical for PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) campaigns, in the context of featuring appealing ads mimicking popular products, demanding urgent reaction, or promising a reward for clicking on them.

Curious that despite the iFramed based traffic E-shop is pitching itself as a “legitimate traffic service”, it’s also explicitly emphasizing on the fact that iFramed based traffic is perfectly suitable to be used for Web malware exploitation kits.

The iFramed based traffic E-shop of course accepts Bitcoin as payment method.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  iFramed based traffic, cybercrime)

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