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    Archive for August 28th, 2012




    An unpatched JRE 1.7/Java 7 zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2012-4681) was recently found to be exploited by a malicious .JAR file hosted on a specific site. Successful exploit leads to the download of a backdoor, in effect allowing remote malicious users to execute their desired commands on the vulnerable system.

    The zero-day exploit successfully runs in all versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. According to a testing done by Metasploit, the vulnerability also runs on Google Chrome and Safari.

    Technical Analysis of the Exploit and Payload

    The affected vulnerability is related to the new Java 7 classcom.sun.beans.finder.ClassFinder that allows the sun.awt.SunToolkit class to load, modify and execute the malicious code. This threat is composed of an HTML page with malicious JavaScript (index.html detected as JS_FIEROPS.A), a Java applet (applet.java detected as JAVA_GONDY.A), and the malicious binary (FLASH_UPDATE.exe detected as BKDR_POISON.BLW).

    Users may encounter this threat by visiting a site, one of which is http://www.{BLOCKED}s.com/public/meeting/index.html, which results to the downloading and loading of the malicious Java applet (JAVA_GONDY.A). It then passes some parameters, which is then used to download BKDR_POISON.BLW.

    Based on our analysis of index.html code, the script was heavily obfuscated and encrypted using Dadong’s JSXX 0.44 VIP.

    Decompiling this script, we were able to get hold of the parameters being passed to the malicious Java applet. Below is the screenshot that shows the parameters are passed to the CVE2012xxxx.Gondvv.class in order to download and execute the malicious binary FLASH_UPDATE.exe.

    When we examined the Java applet, we also noticed the following classes:

    • cve2012xxxx/Gondzz.class – contains the main codes and the code that exploits JAVA 7 by using the classcom.sun.beans.finder.ClassFinder class.
    • cve2012xxxx/Gondvv.class – contains the methods that are responsible for downloading and executing the malicious binary.

    While the malicious Java applet runs, it calls the disableSecurity() method, which creates a statement that disables Security Manager. This routine then allows the execution of malicious code. It also checks if the running system is Windows and determines the parameters passed from the HTML that points to the URL of malicious binary.

    It then downloads BKDR_POISON.BLW and saves it in a temporary folder using the file name update.exe. The malicious Java applet then deletes the binary once executed.

    Based on our analysis, the backdoor BKDR_POISON.BLW was found to download and execute other malware onto the system, which leaves the system open to further infection. It is capable of capturing screen shots, webcam, and audio recording from the infected system. This zero-day exploit also reportedly works on Mac OS X platforms, thus Mac users should also be wary of this threat.

    JRE 1.7 Zero-Day Exploit and Targeted Attacks

    While some reports have gone on to say that this particular zero-day exploit might be used in targeted attacks, our analysis showed that this may not be the case. The sites where the exploit is hosted are known distributors of various malware. The server that BKDR_POISON.BLW connects to is also a known C&C used by malware. Targeted attacks are known to stay under the radar to successfully operate. The domains/IPs this attack use alone say that there was no intention of staying hidden.

    Trend Micro Protection

    Trend Micro protects users from this threat via Smart Protection Network™, which detects and deletes the exploit and its malware components. It also blocks access to compromised sites where the infection start points reside. Deep Security users are protected from the exploit by applying the rule 1005170 – Java Applet Remote Code Execution Vulnerability.

    Update as of August 29 4:36 AM PDT

    We were alerted to reports of an email message leading to this exploit. The email purportedly contains a link to a file sharing tool, which is actually a link to the exploit. Trend Micro detects and blocks the related email messages and the link to the exploit. In addition, Deep Discovery™ catches the network activity done by BKDR_POISON.BLW.

    Update as of August 31, 6:30 PM PDT

    Oracle has released an out-of-bound patch for Java which patches this zero-day exploit. The update increments the version number to Version 7 Update 7 for users on the latest JRE version; users still using Java 6 are also receiving an update that will increment their version to Version 6 Update 35. Users should immediately update their systems to protect against this threat.

    Update as of September 4, 11:10 AM PDT

    Trend Micro Deep Security users should apply the updated rule 1005178 – Java Applet Remote Code Execution Vulnerability – 2 to protect from threats seen exploiting this Java vulnerability.

    With additional analysis from Paul Pajares and Jasen Sumalapao


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    This is part of a series of blog posts discussing the Chinese underground. The previous parts may be found here:

    The full paper can be found here.

    The third value chain – Internet resources and services abuse – has a somewhat unique role, in that it facilitates all the other value chains. Without malicious servers and bots at their disposal, the theft of both real money and virtual assets would be more difficult.

    The architecture of this value chain can be seen here:

    Broadly speaking, many similarities exist with other underground economies, although some aspects are unique to the Chinese underground. In particular, the concept of “hanging on” software is unknown outside of China. “Hanging on” software allows people to in effect, voluntarily lend their systems to botnets in exchange for promised payment.

    Similarly, there are monetization schemes that are unusual in other countries as well. The sale of fake professional certifications in China is commonplace; the arrests of a gang engaged in this behavior netted 165 people. Other profit methods such as DDoS attacks, spam, malware selling, click fraud, and PPI (pay-per-install) affiliates are already known from other underground communities.

    Terminology and Example

    An example of these sorts of schemes and attacks was demonstrated in 2009. Two defendants were arrested for carrying out DDoS attacks against an unidentified online game. They were able to blackmail 500 million units of in-game currency, which they sold in the underground for 18,750 renminbi (approximately 3000 US dollars).

    The DDoS – referred to as a “swordsman stress test” (剑客压力测试) – was carried out using software purchased in the underground market. The software was purchased for the price of 788 renminbi (approximately 125 US dollars), but came with 500 compromised machines to carry out DDoS attacks. The suspects then bought more compromised machines (which they referred to as “chickens”), to add to the power of their DDoS attack.


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