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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?