Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something strange is going on at

After writing my last WPAD post, I decided to check if any WPAD TLDs are serving malicious wpad.dat files. So, I took a TLD list I found on the MozillaWiki and tried to retrieve wpad.dat on all of the wpad.tld domains, using cURL with a spoofed user-agent.

I was able to connect to 50 of the nearly 700 TLDs and 24 of them are serving a wpad.dat file. Of those, five seem to be non-malicious (at least, for now): they are either serving a legitimate wpad.dat file or are telling clients not to use a proxy.

The remaining 19 however, all contain the same wpad.dat file (at the same IP address). Among these are some serious domains, such as,, and The wpad.dat tries to match the URL against these shell expressions and tells the browser to use a proxy only if the URL matches:


Clearly, these people are trying to obfuscate the URLs they are proxying. I had some trouble figuring out what the targets are, but a couple of my colleagues at Fox-IT were able to find a match: Looks like they are intercepting requests for Google ads. At the moment, the proxy seems to return an empty .js file for this request.

According to the HTTP headers, the wpad.dat file has been there since 13 October 2008. It does contain the text ‘testin testin’ so perhaps they are just preparing for something.

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