F-secure was hit by an SQL injection attack which was partly successful, according to the security firm.
The attack was performed by a Romanian group yesterday. According to F-secure, the group had been doing SQL injection attacks on several security vendor's websites during the week.
The attackers managed to find a security hole in one of the F-secure's servers, which the company used in gathering malware statistics. The server had a page that didn't properly sanitize input and was therefore vulnerable to attack. According to F-secure, defense-in-depth strategies followed did not allow the attack to succeed.
"Although the attackers were able to read information from the database they couldn't write or manipulate it. And they couldn't access any other data on that server because the SQL user only had access to its own database, which only contains public information that is shown on our statistics pages. So while the attack is something we must learn from and points at things we need to improve, it's not the end of the world," F-secure said.
SQL injection is a type of attack that is growing in popularity. It is code injection technique that exploits a security vulnerability occurring in the database layer of an application. The vulnerability is present when user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or user input is not strongly typed and thereby unexpectedly executed. It is an instance of a more general class of vulnerabilities that can occur whenever one programming or scripting language is embedded inside another. This type of attck can also be used to steal information, and to show that an attack is possible.
Earlier this week, a similar attack had been reported at the United States web site of the Kaspersky Labs security firm.