Cybercriminals utilise the latest Web 2.0 techniques to inject their obfuscated malware in PDF and Flash files

In its latest Malicious Page of the Month report, Finjan describes the malicious obfuscated code evolution, including examples of its increased sophistication and effectiveness  

Finjan Inc., a leader in secure web gateway products, has announced that its Malicious Code Research Center (MCRC) discovered examples of obfuscated code embedded not only in HTML-webpages on legitimate websites, but also in rich-content files.

Since JavaScript is the most-used scripting language for communication with web browsers, third-party applications such as Flash player, PDF readers and other multimedia applications have added support for JavaScript as part of their application, said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan. This offers crimeware authors the opportunity to inject malicious code into rich-content files used by Ads and user-generated content on Web 2.0 websites.   

The report also covers the evolution of obfuscated code for cybercrime attacks:

  • In 2005, code obfuscation consisted of character-based encoding - using any format a browser could interpret - and code scrambling
  • In 2006, code obfuscation became dynamic providing a  predefined function which receives as input long sets of characters
  • In 2007, an AJAX-based private key is used for de-obfuscating the code, enabling the code to be seen once- and in real-time only
  • In 2008, obfuscated code is not only embedded in HTML-webpages on legitimate websites, but also in rich-content files such as PDF and Flash

Online Ads and user-generated content on Web 2.0 websites are becoming more popular in directing users to malware-infected content files. Finjans H1/2008 Web Security Survey Report indicates that 46% of respondents stated that their organisation didnt have a Web 2.0 security policy in place.

Accordingto Finjan, code obfuscation remains the preferred technique for cybercriminals for their attacks. Real-time content inspection is the optimal way to detect and block dynamically obfuscated code and similar types of advanced cybercrime techniques, since it analyses and understands the code embedded within web content or files in real time - before it reaches the end-users. 

The research is described in detail in Finjans latest Malicious Page of the Month report released today.

To download the report, please visit 

Finjans H1/2008 Web Security Survey Report is available at:

About MCRC

MaliciousCodeResearchCenter (MCRC) is the leading research department at Finjan, dedicated to the research and detection of security vulnerabilities in Internet applications, as well as other popular programs. MCRCs goal is to stay steps ahead of hackers attempting to exploit open platforms and technologies to develop malicious code such as Spyware, Trojans, Phishing attacks, worms and viruses. MCRC shares its research efforts with many of the worlds leading software vendors to help patch their security holes. MCRC is a driving force behind the development of next generation security technologies used in Finjans proactive web security solutions.


About Finjan

Finjan is a global provider of web security solutions for the enterprise market. Our real-time, appliance-based web security solutions deliver the most effective shield against web-borne threats, freeing enterprises to harness the web for maximum commercial results. Finjans active real-time web security solutions utilize patented behavior-based technology to repel all types of threats arriving via the web, such as spyware, phishing, Trojans and obfuscated malicious code, securing businesses against unknown and emerging threats, as well as known malware.

Finjan's security solutions have received industry awards and recognition from leading analyst houses and publications, including Gartner, IDC, Butler Group, SC Magazine, CRN, ITPro, PCPro, ITWeek, Network Computing, and Information Security. With Finjans award-winning and widely used solutions, businesses can focus on implementing web strategies to realize their full organizational and commercial potential.

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