Washington, DC Radio Station Web Site Compromises

Last Revised
Alert Code

Systems Affected

  • Microsoft Windows systems running Adobe Reader, Acrobat, or Oracle Java


On May 16, 2013, US-CERT was notified that both www.federalnewsradio[.]com and www.wtop[.]com had been compromised to redirect Internet Explorer users to an exploit kit. As of May 17, 2013, US-CERT analysis confirms that no malicious code remains on either site.

The compromised websites were modified to contain a hidden iframe referencing a JavaScript file on a dynamic-DNS host. The file returned from this site was identified as the Fiesta exploit kit. The kit uses one of several known vulnerabilities to attempt to download an executable:

Any systems visiting running vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader or Acrobat or Oracle Java may have been compromised.


The exploit kit, once successful, delivers and executes a known variant of the ZeroAccess Trojan. Additionally, according to open source reporting, the malware also downloads and installs a variant of FakeAV/Kazy malware.

The ZeroAccess Trojan attempts to beacon to one of two hardcoded command-and-control addresses, 194[.]165[.]17[.]3 and 209[.]68[.]32[.]176. The beaconing occurs using an HTTP GET using the Opera/10 user-agent string.

After beaconing, the malware then downloads a custom Microsoft Cabinet file and the malware uses port 16464/udp to connect to the peer-to-peer network. This cabinet file contains several lists of IP addresses, as well as a fake flash installer.


Apply Updates

Updated software that addresses the vulnerabilities referenced in this incident has been available for years. It is imperative to apply current security updates to software that is commonly targeted by attackers.

In order to defend against additional vulnerabilities, install the most recent versions of Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and Oracle Java. At the time of publication, Adobe Security Bulletin APSB13-15 documents current security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, and Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory - April 2013 documents vulnerabilities addressed by Java 7 Update 21.

Identify Compromised Systems

Monitor activity to the following IP addresses as a potential indicator of compromise where permitted and practical:

  • 209[.]68[.]32[.]176
  • 194[.]165[.]17[.]3



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