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
Several months ago, we disclosed that Pawn Storm was using a then-undiscovered zero-day Java vulnerability to carry out its attacks. At the time, we noted that a separate vulnerability was used to bypass the click-to-play protection that is in use by Java. This second vulnerability has now been patched by Oracle as part of its regular quarterly update.
Click-to-play requires the user to click the space where the Java app would normally be displayed before it is executed. In effect, it asks the user if they are really sure they want to run any Java code.
Bypassing click-to-play protection allows for malicious Java code to run without any alert windows being shown. This was quite useful in Pawn Storm, as it used exploits targeting these vulnerabilities to carry out targeted attacks against North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and the White House earlier this year.Read More
Java used to be a favored vulnerability target for cybercriminals. However, in recent years that has not been the case. The now-fixed Java zero-day that was used in the Pawn Storm campaign was, in fact, the first time in nearly two years that a zero-day had been found and reported in Java. This can be attributed, in part,…Read More
Earlier this week, the Italian company known as Hacking Team experienced a breach, with more than 400GB of confidential company data made available to the public. The company was known for selling what it described as tools used to lawfully intercept communications that could be used by governments and law enforcement agencies. The company has…Read More
The recent Duqu 2.0 targeted attack used several zero-day vulnerabilities as part of its attack. One of the vulnerabilities used was CVE-2015-2360, which was fixed by MS15-061 as part of the June Patch Tuesday release. Like CVE-2015-1701, this is also in the Win32k.sys file, which is commonly targeted by attackers to bypass existing vulnerability mitigation techniques. The vulnerability…Read More