They found a sneaky software tool that uses Google's search engine to hunt for Web sites running certain kinds of vulnerable applications, wrote Bojan Zdrnja, on the institute's blog.
When the tool finds a site that is vulnerable, it kicks into action. "The exploit just consisted of an SQL statement that tried to inject a script tag into every HTML page on the web site," Zdrnja wrote.
Among the malicious programs served up was a password-stealing program for the game "Lord of the Rings Online," security vendor McAfee said last month.
SANS said the software tool also reports to a server based in China, a feature that may be used to count the number of infections in order for the person using the tool to get paid, Zdrnja wrote. The tool may have other functions, but SANS is still analyzing it.
Among the victims from these attacks were the Web sites of security vendor Trend Micro as well as CA.
The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.