Chemical biz 'Nitro' hackers use Java to coat PCs in poison ivy
Chinese spying crew is back in business
The crew behind last year's "Nitro" industrial espionage attacks are among hackers exploiting the two potent Java security vulnerabilities patched this week.
The team, which attempted to lift sensitive blueprints from companies by compromising workers' computers, is now using holes in Oracle's software to install Poison Ivy on victims' Windows machines, Symantec reports. A malicious Java applet bypasses security checks to execute the Poison Ivy malware that opens a backdoor on infected PCs to allow a remote malicious user to gain control of the system.
The latest wave of attacks rely on the same command servers and involve components with the same file names as last year's assault, which targeted chemical industry giants and defence contractors. A 20-something Chinese bloke dubbed Covert Grove was accused by Symantec [PDF] of being involved in that 2011 campaign as the attacks were traced back to his server. There's more on the Nitro attack in this analysis by Trend Micro.
Now that source code exploiting the new Java vulnerabilities is in the wild, it won't just be the Nitro team seizing upon it to execute arbitrary software on victims' machines. For example, code taking advantage of the holes has been added to the BlackHole exploit tool kit, which infects vulnerable computers when a punter visits a booby-trapped web page.
In addition, Sophos has intercepted spam emails purporting to be from the Dutch branch of the accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward that attempt to trick marks into running the Java attack code. The dodgy emails, which unusually include the exploit script in the body of messages, pose as communiques in Dutch about a rise in tax rates. ®
Re: "Bobby-trapped" web page?
It might be an obscure reference to Bobby Tables. Then again .........
"Bobby-trapped" web page?
Like in "watched over by the Scotland Yard"?
From the article: ....install Poison Ivy on victims' Windows machines.
I am so glad that my employer has gotten itself off that trouble plagued WindblowZE platform, and transitioned to Linux.
While this is a Java vulnerability the end result is that if you are using WindblowZE, you have been had.
I view the use of WindblowZE as the difference between doing oxy-acetylene welding in a concrete building as compared to doing it in a wood frame structure. All it takes is one spark to bring the building down in flames. Now how many times have we seen WindblowZE go up in flames???