Feeds

Nasty PDF exploit runs wild

Coming to an inbox near you

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A day after Adobe patched a serious security hole in its Reader and Acrobat programs, miscreants are flooding email inboxes with malware-tainted PDF files that try to remotely hijack vulnerable computers.

The malware, identified by Symantec researchers as Trojan.Pidief.A, is included in PDF files attached to a "fair number of emails," according to this blog entry. The spam typically targets specific businesses or organizations.

Adobe issued a patch for the vulnerability on Monday. The revelation of in-the-wild exploits underscores the importance of updating immediately. A patch for Reader is available here; an Acrobat update is available here.

Emails typically arrive bearing subjects such as "invoice," "statement" or "bill" and contain no text in the body. If the attached PDF is opened using a vulnerable version of Adobe software, the machine will execute code that lowers Windows security settings and installs a bevy of nasty malware, according to the SANS Internet Storm Center.

At least some of the spam comes courtesy of the Russian Business Network, a St. Petersburg-based service provider that offers bullet-proof hosting to criminals engaged in child pornography, identity theft and spam, according to Ken Dunham, director of global response at iSIGHT Partners. "The code and servers used in the attack are nearly identical to September 2006 Vector Markup Language (VML) zero-day attacks that took place one year ago," he wrote in an email.

For more information about the Russian Business Network and how it operates, check out this article published by The Washington Post. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.