Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears to be in Ukraine. This morning Mozilla released security updates that fix the vulnerability. All Firefox users are urged to update to Firefox 39.0.3. The fix has also been shipped in Firefox ESR 38.1.1.
The files it was looking for were surprisingly developer focused for an exploit launched on a general audience news site, though of course we don’t know where else the malicious ad might have been deployed. On Windows the exploit looked for subversion, s3browser, and Filezilla configurations files,
.purple and Psi+ account information, and site configuration files from eight different popular FTP clients. On Linux the exploit goes after the usual global configuration files like
/etc/passwd, and then in all the user directories it can access it looks for
.ssh configuration files and keys, configuration files for remina, Filezilla, and Psi+, text files with “pass” and “access” in the names, and any shell scripts.
Mac users are not targeted by this particular exploit but would not be immune should someone create a different payload. [Update: we’ve now seen variants that do have a Mac section, looking for much the same kinds of files as on Linux.]
The exploit leaves no trace it has been run on the local machine. If you use Firefox on Windows or Linux it would be prudent to change any passwords and keys found in the above-mentioned files if you use the associated programs. People who use ad-blocking software may have been protected from this exploit depending on the software and specific filters being used.