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    Author Archive - Brooks Li (Threats Analyst)

    Exploit kits have long been part of a cybercriminal’s arsenal. One of the most notorious exploit kits in recent years is the Blackhole Exploit Kit. Coverage over this particular exploit kit reached a fevered pitch with the arrest of its author in 2013.

    The Blackhole Exploit Kit may have met its demise, but this hasn’t deterred cybercriminals from using other exploit kits for their schemes. In fact, other exploit kits are still in use, often with improvements or upgrades. An example is the Nuclear Exploit Kit.

    We observed that the Nuclear Exploit Kit exploit kit recently included the Silverlight exploit (CVE-2013-0074) in its scope. We believe that the attackers behind the Nuclear Exploit Kit included Silverlight in its roster of targeted software for two reasons: to have an expanded attack surface and to avoid detection (as not many security solutions have detections for this particular exploit).

    The Silverlight exploit

    Like other targeted software, the Nuclear Exploit Kit’s landing page will check if the victim’s system has Silverlight installed. If the check passes, it will then attempt to use the Silverlight exploit to drop malware into the system.


    Figure 1. The payload

    Upon closer analysis, it appears that an error exists in the version checking the JavaScript code. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Exploits, Vulnerabilities |

    There are already many known ways by which cybercriminals target Facebook users. In the infographic we recently released, “The Geography of Social Media Threats,” we illustrated the different social networking features cybercriminals abused and the threats that these usually lead to.

    In the course of conducting research, we found one specific attack that targeted Facebook users through a different route—malvertisements.

    We encountered an infection chain wherein the user is led from a page within Facebook to a couple of ad sites then, finally, to a page that hosts exploits. When we traced the connection between the ad sites and Facebook, we found that the ad providers were affiliated with a certain Facebook application. We checked out the said application and found that it is indeed ad supported. We were able to come up with the likely infection chain based on this finding:

    Read the rest of this entry »



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