Feeds

Black hats target Windows Media Encoder bug

Quick on the draw

The essential guide to IT transformation

Miscreants have wasted no time exploiting a critical hole in Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder. Just four days after Redmond released fixes for that flaw and seven others, security experts found attack code in the wild that preys on users who have yet to install the patch.

Public attack code was published on the Milw0rm exploit list as early as Friday - just three days after Microsoft's Patch Tuesday - though it was dated Wednesday, September 10. By Saturday, honeypots maintained by researchers at Symantec began detecting variants.

"This attack chronology is another example of the rapid adoption of public exploits into widely deployed exploit toolkits," Symantec researcher Sean Hittel writes here.

Attackers are distributing the attacks in at least two different ways. One is through a simple clear-text program on Milw0rm where the sample shellcode has been modified. A second method comes courtesy of a widely deployed toolkit that goes by the name e2, according to Hittel.

e2 appends a first stage-encrypted block to legitimate web pages, causing visitors to be redirected to a second website that launches an attack. The e2 encryptor is similar to later versions of MPack in that it feeds an encrypted block through a two-key decoder.

Symantec doesn't say how widespread the attacks are or how successful they are at actually infecting end-users' PCs. Microsoft has warned that the bug can allow attackers to take complete control of a vulnerable machine, so the smartest course of action is to install right away. To make sure the patch has been applied to your PC go to Start > All Programs > Windows Update. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?