Feeds

Microsoft sees spike in attacks targeting 0day Windows bug

With help like that ...

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The number of malicious attacks exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in older versions of Windows has mushroomed over the past week, prompting Microsoft to warn customers to deploy countermeasures until an update is released.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that its security team has detected more than 10,000 distinct computers that have experienced the attack against the bug in the Windows Help and Support Center. The vulnerability, which was disclosed on June 10 by researcher Tavis Ormandy, makes it possible for attackers to remotely install malware on computers running Windows XP and Server 2003 by luring end users to booby-trapped websites.

For the first 10 days following the disclosure, attacks were targeted and relatively few. But over the past week and a half, they have suddenly increased, Holly Stewart, a member of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, warned here. Geographies with the biggest attack volume are the US, Russia, Portugal, Germany, and Brazil.

Stewart advised vulnerable Windows users who have not implemented one of the countermeasures listed here to strongly consider doing so now.

The surge of attacks appear to be carried out by “seemingly-automated, randomly-generated html and php pages,” Stewart said. When the attacks began, they mostly installed a backdoor known as Obitel, which is used to download other malware. But over time the exploits have marshaled a variety of other trojans, which Microsoft detects as Win32/Swrort.A, Win32/Tedroo.AB, Win32/Oficla.M, and Win32/Neetro.A, among others.

Microsoft has said it's working on an update to patch the gaping security hole. In additional to deploying workarounds, users can find some protection from Security Essentials, Forefront Client Security, and other anti-virus products from Microsoft.

The spike in attacks shows the darker side of so-called full disclosure, which is the belief among some security professionals that all information about vulnerabilities should be communicated as broadly as possible so that individuals are fully informed about risks and companies have an incentive to fix the bugs as soon as possible. It's a position your reporter has regularly and sometimes vociferously advocated. But it also seems fair to say that these attacks probably wouldn't have happened had Ormandy been more reticent. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.