Posts Tagged: Eleonore Exploit Pack


9
Nov 10

Microsoft Plugs Office Holes, But No IE Fix Yet

Microsoft Corp. today issued three bundles of updates fixing at least 11 security vulnerabilities in its software, mainly flaws in Microsoft Office products. But the company did not release an update today to remedy  a critical flaw built into in all versions of the Internet Explorer Web browser that is now being exploited by at least one common, automated hacker toolkit.

Two of the updates address Office bugs, including one that is limited to older versions of PowerPoint and PowerPoint Viewer. Only one of today’s patches earned a “critical” rating, Microsoft’s most serious. But experts are warning that this critical Office vulnerability is likely to be used in targeted e-mail attacks against Microsoft Outlook users.

“One of the most dangerous aspects of this vulnerability is that a user doesn’t have to open a malicious email to be infected,” said Joshua Talbot, security intelligence manager for Symantec Security Response. “All that is required is for the content of the email to appear in Outlook’s Reading Pane. If a user highlights a malicious email to preview it in the Reading Pane, their machine is immediately infected. The same holds true if a user opens Outlook and a malicious email is the most recently received in their inbox; that email will appear in the Reading Pane by default and the computer will be infected.”

Microsoft did not issue an update to fix a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer that bad guys are exploiting to break into Windows computers. Last week, the software giant warned that crooks were exploiting the flaw in targeted attacks, and that it had no intention of issuing a fix for the security hole outside of its normal monthly patching process (the second Tuesday of each month — today — is Patch Tuesday).

Since that advisory, the IE exploit has been bundled into the Eleonore Exploit pack, a powerful and widely-used commercial crimeware kit that makes it trivial for attackers to turn legitimate Web sites into platforms for installing malware when visitors browse the sites with vulnerable PCs.

If you have Office Installed, take a moment to visit Microsoft Update to patch things up. If you use IE, either upgrade to IE8 — which provides additional protections against this zero-day attack — or consider implementing the Fix-It tool that Microsoft has released to help mitigate the threat from the vulnerability.

A summary of today’s bulletins is available here.

Update, 7:03 p.m. ET: Added information at the end of this post on the Microsoft FixIt Tool.


23
Jun 10

Exploiting the Exploiters

Most computer users understand the concept of security flaws in common desktop software such as media players and instant message clients, but the same users often are surprised to learn that the very software tools attackers use to break into networks and computers typically are riddled with their own hidden security holes. Indeed, bugs that reside in attack software of the sort sold to criminals are extremely valuable to law enforcement officials and so-called “white hat” hackers, who can leverage these weaknesses to spy on the attackers or interfere with their day-to-day operations.

Administrative page from a live Crimepack exploit kit.

Last week, French security researchers announced they had discovered a slew of vulnerabilities in several widely used “exploit packs,” stealthy tool kits designed to be stitched into hacked and malicious sites. The kits — sold in the underground for hundreds of dollars and marketed under brands such as Crimepack, Eleonore, and iPack — probe the visitor’s browser for known security vulnerabilities, and then use the first one found as a vehicle to quietly install malicious software.

Speaking at the Syscan security conference in Singapore, Laurent Oudot, founder of Paris-based TEHTRI Security, released security advisories broadly outlining more than a dozen remotely exploitable flaws in Eleonore and other exploit packs. According to TEHTRI, some of the bugs would allow attackers to view internal data stored by those kits, while others could let an attacker seize control over sites retrofitted with one of these exploit packs.

“It’s time to have strike-back capabilities for real, and to have alternative and innovative solutions against those security issues,” Oudot wrote in a posting to the Bugtraq security mailing list.

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11
Jun 10

Don’t Need Java? Junk It.

I am often asked to recommend security software,  but it’s important to remember that staying secure is just as much about removing little-used software that increases your exposure to online threats. At the very top of my nix-it-now list is Java, a powerful application that most users have on their systems but that probably few actually need.

Not only do most users have some version of Java on their systems, most Windows users likely have multiple copies of this program on their PCs, because older installers failed to remove previous, insecure versions of the software.

Worse still, Java is now among the most frequently-attacked programs, and appears to be fast replacing Adobe as the target of choice for automated exploit tools used by criminals.

Readers of the blog are no doubt familiar with my previous stories on the Eleonore Exploit Pack, a commercial software package sold by and to criminals that is used to booby trap Web sites with exploits for the most common Web browser vulnerabilities. Check out past posts on Eleonore, and it’s clear Java flaws are a key target of this increasingly common exploit pack.

Below are a few screen shots taken from the administration page of yet another working Eleonore Exploit Pack: The first image shows the exploits used by this pack, along with the number of times each exploit  (“sploit”) was successful in delivering malicious software payloads (or “loads”) to the visitor. As we can see, the “java2e” and “javae0” are by far the most successful of the exploits.

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