Feeds

Miscreants hijacking machines via (freshly patched) Adobe flaw

Is yours next?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

If you haven't updated your Adobe Reader program lately, now would be a good time. Three days after the company rushed out a critical update, miscreants are actively exploiting a security flaw to execute malicious code on vulnerable machines.

The SANS Internet Storm Center says here that researchers have spotted laced PDF files being circulated online. Its discovery comes on the heels of the public release of proof-of-concept code exploiting CVE-2008-2992. According to SANS, none of the 32 top anti-virus programs were detecting the malicious files.

SANS handler Bojan Zdrnja said the PDFs are being spread using drive-by advertisements on sites deemed "suspicious." At the moment, distribution is fairly light, but Zdrnja expects that change soon. Once the rigged PDF is opened, the exploit calls the mshta application in Windows to execute HTA files.

"It retrieves the trojan from a different web site and executes it on the infected machine," Zdrnja wrote in an email to The Register. "The trojan then does all sort of malicious things (I haven't analyzed that further)."

Like Adobe's Flash animation player, Reader can be a pain to keep updated. The program comes with an automatic update feature, but it sometimes takes weeks to actually get around to installing critical updates, we've found. Whether your machine runs Windows, OS X, or Linux, manual updating is fairly easy using this link. Versions 8.1.2 and earlier are vulnerable to these attacks. Protect yourself by patching now. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.