Feeds

Hackers ZERO IN on ZOMBIE XP boxes: Get patching, Internet Explorer 8 users

Multi-pronged malfeasance targets gov, energy, finance

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A newly uncovered attack specifically targeting out-of-support Windows XP machines running Internet Explorer 8 is being used to hack potential victims in multiple industries across Europe and North America, according to security researchers.

This is the first “in the wild” attack spotted against Windows XP after Microsoft pulled the life support last month. It was severe enough to prompt Redmond into releasing an emergency, unscheduled patch on Thursday.

The same MS14-021 bulletin also covers critical patches for multiple versions of Windows (including Windows 7 and 8) and the latest versions of IE, so it's not just a problem for those running legacy software.

According to security firm FireEye, multiple hacking crews are using the vulnerability to target government and energy sector organisations in the US and Europe. Firms in finance and defence are also in the firing line of attacks based an the vulnerability.

"We have seen multiple threat actor groups are now adopting this exploit," a FireEye spokeswoman explained.

FireEye initially said the vulnerability affects IE6 through IE11, but the attack is targeting IE9 through IE11, and noted that the approach circumvented Redmond's built-in security preventions (ASLR and DEP) when it first warned about the flaw on 26 April.

It only mentioned the Windows XP element to these so-called "Operation Clandestine Fox" attacks after MS released the emergency fix on 1 May.

Despite its undead status many organisations still make heavy use of Windows XP in their computing infrastructures. For example, an estimated three quarters of UK businesses are still running XP despite the end of XP support. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.