Feeds

Yet ANOTHER IE 0-day hole found: Malware-flingers already using it for drive-by badness

You read that right: OPT OUT of a botnet by hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del

Website security in corporate America

Security researchers have discovered new zero-day vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer that are already being harnessed by hackers to run a new type of drive-by attack.

FireEye, the security firm that discovered the attack method, said that the flaw is present in various versions of Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, while running Windows XP or Windows 7.

"The exploit leverages a new information leakage vulnerability and an IE out-of-bounds memory access vulnerability to achieve code execution," FireEye explains. “It is one vulnerability being exploited in various different ways.”

The IE flaw is unpatched and separate from the TIFF image-handling zero-day vulnerability that surfaced late last month – which is also under active attack.

Malware slung via the latest exploit is designed to load directly into the memory of victimised Windows PC, bypassing the hard drive. The tactic makes it harder for antivirus software or similar security tools to detect and block the attack.

However, simply rebooting compromised machines would appear to remove them from the botnet, so what this new type of attack gains in stealth, it loses in persistence. FireEye posits that "the use of this non-persistent first stage may suggest that the attackers were confident that their intended targets would simply revisit the compromised website and be[come] re-infected".

One of the sites spreading the exploit covers national and international security policy, according to FireEye. This, and other instances of the attack method, make it more than likely we are looking at some type of state-backed cyber-espionage campaign, it says.

The infrastructure used in the attack shares similarities with the earlier Operation DeputyDog assaults against targets in Japan and China, claims FireEye. The same hacking crew is suspected of involvement in a high profile hack against whitelisting firm Bit9.

If anything, the latest assaults are even more sophisticated.

"By utilising strategic web compromises along with in-memory payload delivery tactics and multiple nested methods of obfuscation, this campaign has proven to be exceptionally accomplished and elusive," FireEye concludes. "APT actors are clearly learning and employing new tactics."

FireEye has notified Microsoft about the vulnerability. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.