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World Cup-themed PDF attack kicks off

Poisoned guide spotted

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Miscreants have booted a World Cup-themed email malware attack onto the web, taking advantage of existing material on the tournament.

Booby-trapped emails are doing the rounds, posing as messages from African Safari organiser Greenlife. The emails contain an attached PDF file claiming to provide a guide to the first African edition of football's most prestigious tournament.

In reality, the attachment payload takes advantage of a recently patched Adobe Reader vulnerability (involving the handling of TIFF files and resolved with a patch on 16 February) to drop malware into machines running an unpatched version of Adobe reader.

Hackers behind the attack have taken Greenlife's genuine guide (available on its website) and inserted exploit code instead of content related to this June's tournament and travel in South Africa.

The poisoned version of the guide was sent to an unspecified "major international organisation", email filtering outfit MessageLabs reports. The Symantec-owned hosted security operation adds that successful execution of the attack drops a rootlet and a backdoor Trojan on compromised machines, as explained in a detailed write-up here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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