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    Archive for January 8th, 2013

    To jumpstart the new year, both Microsoft and Adobe release their security updates today. Microsoft, in particular, releases seven bulletins to address 12 vulnerabilities while Adobe issues its fix for Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

    Two of the seven bulletins from Microsoft are tagged as Critical as they could lead to remote code execution, in which a successful attacker can execute a malware onto vulnerable systems. Five of these are rated Important and among these, three bulletins may lead to a possible attacker gaining administrator privileges.

    What is noteworthy, however, is the absence of security update for the unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer reported last December. Just before 2012 ended, we blogged about the incident, in which the Council on Foreign Relations website was compromised to host a zero-day exploit by way of a user-after-free vulnerability in IE. To address this issue, Microsoft opted to release a workaround solution.

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    Posted in Vulnerabilities | Comments Off on Microsoft, Adobe Start 2013 with Security Updates

    This new year, expect crimeware like toolkits and exploit kits to be improved and continue their money-making streak.

    As profit remains the main driver of these threats, cybercriminals will continue to implement new features to increase profit and new countermeasures to protect their investment by keeping security researchers in the dark. So far, the following notorious crimeware underwent some noteworthy changes.

    ZeuS. Though last updated around more than 2 years ago, ZeuS remains popular among cybecriminals due to its reliability. Because it was coded well, cybercriminals continue to earn money from this toolkit and evade law enforcement.

    Spyeye. Initially deemed as ZeuS’ rival, SpyEye’s creator Gribodemon offered the toolkit as an alternative while providing support to existing ZeuS customers. Since its debut in 2009, it underwent several improvements until its creator disappeared sometime in 2010.

    Citadel and Ice IX. Both are considered by-products of ZeuS, however each of these toolkits present certain improvements. Citadel contains more user-friendly control panel, while Ice IX is supposedly protected against trackers.

    Blackhole exploit kits. Known to distribute malware by exploiting known software vulnerabilities, the stealthier version of Blackhole Exploit Kit was recently released. To avoid detection, its creator Paunch does not directly provide the kit, but instead installed in a web server somewhere that is connected to a database for logging and reporting.

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    Posted in Malware | Comments Off on What to Expect from Toolkits and Exploit Kits this 2013


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