New malware targeting Mac users has been discovered on a website associated with the Dalai Lama.
"Acting on a tip, a member of our Threat Research team (Brod) has discovered a Dalai Lama related website is compromised and is pushing new Mac malware, called Dockster, using a Java-based exploit," blogged Sean Sullivan, security advisor for F-Secure.
The Java exploit targets the same vulnerability used by the "Flashback" malware attacks earlier this year – CVE-2012-0507, which has been patched. Current versions of Mac OS X and anyone with their browser's Java plugin disabled should be safe from the exploit, Sullivan added.
"This is not the first time gyalwarinpoche.com has been compromised and it certainly isn't the first time Tibetan related NGOs have been targeted," he noted.
In fact, just last month Tibetan activists were observed being targeted by a new variant of the Imuler (Revir) Trojan via malicious emails. The messages would include images of pro-Tibetan groups as a lure to get victims to open the malicious files. Once executed, the malware would steal data from the system and upload it to a remote server.
Another attack targeting Tibetan activists was uncovered in March when researchers at Trend Micro released details about an attack campaign whose targets not only included the activists but also military research, aerospace and energy companies in India and Japan.
The malware in the latest attack is detected as OSX/Bckdr-RNW by Sophos. According to Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley, once a computer is infected, attackers will be able to steal data from the system and capture the victim's keystrokes.
"The attack was presumably designed to infect computers visiting the Dalai Lama-related website, which - one would imagine - would belong to [sympathizers] with the exiled Tibetan government," he blogged.
There is also an exploit for CVE-2012-4681 that delivers a Windows-based payload – Trojan.Agent.AXMO, Sullivan noted. Like CVE-2012-0507, CVE-2012-4681 is a Java vulnerability and was patched by Oracle earlier in the year.