Dirty COW (designated as CVE-2016-5195) is a Linux vulnerability that was first disclosed to the public in October 2016. It was a serious privilege escalation flaw that allowed an attacker to gain root access on the targeted system; other methods were needed to run any code on the targeted machine. We have found a new way to target Dirty COW that is different from existing attacks.Read More
Recently, Google researchers discovered a local privilege escalation vulnerability in Windows which was being used in zero-day attacks, including those carried out by the Pawn Storm espionage group. This is an easily exploitable vulnerability which can be found in all supported versions of Windows, from Windows 7 to Windows 10. By changing one bit, the attacker can elevate the privileges of a thread, giving administrator access to a process that would not have it under normal circumstances.Read More
The effectiveness of a zero-day quickly deteriorates as an attack tool after it gets discovered and patched by the affected software vendors. Within the time between the discovery of the vulnerability and the release of the fix, a bad actor might try to get the most out of his previously valuable attack assets. This is exactly what we saw in late October and early November 2016, when the espionage group Pawn Storm (also known as Fancy Bear, APT28, Sofacy, and STRONTIUM) ramped up its spear-phishing campaigns against various governments and embassies around the world. In these campaigns, Pawn Storm used a previously unknown zero-day in Adobe’s Flash (CVE-2016-7855, fixed on October 26, 2016 with an emergency update) in combination with a privilege escalation in Microsoft’s Windows Operating System (CVE-2016-7255) that was fixed on November 8, 2016.Read More
A new exploit kit has arrived which is spreading different versions of Locky ransomware. We spotted two cases of this new threat, which is based on the earlier Sundown exploit kit. Sundown rose to prominence (together with Rig) after the then-dominant Neutrino exploit kit was neutralized.
Called Bizarro Sundown, the first version was spotted on October 5 with a second sighting two weeks later, on October 19. Users in Taiwan and Korea made up more than half of the victims of this threat. Bizarro Sundown shares some features with its Sundown predecessor but added anti-analysis features. The October 19 attack also changed its URL format to closely resemble legitimate web advertisements. Both versions were used exclusively by the ShadowGate/WordsJS campaign.Read More
Exploiting CVE-2016-3298 enables attackers to check for specific antivirus (AV) software installed in the system in order to avoid AV detection and threat research/analysis. This sounds innocuous, but determining if the system is unsecure eases—and even automates—the undertaking of sneaking malware into it.Read More