Internet Explorer Pwned

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s world has been shaken up recently by a new remote command execution exploit for its premier web browser, Internet Explorer.

Quoting a timeline from eEye’s research on this vulnerability makes it this story more interesting:

11/15/2008 In-The-Wild Exploitation Witnessed By 3rd Party
12/9/2008 Reliable Exploit Code Identified by eEye Research”

The problem is in the code processing XML in Internet Explorer. An attacker can exploit a buffer overflow to execute their own code on the client just by visiting a malicious web page.There are already full exploits for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Apprently, this has been exploited in the wild for some time now. Its too bad that the original bug discoverer didn’t sell his/her code, they probably would have gotten a small fortune (I am talking about totally legitimate agencies, of course).

Also, according to Muts’ Blog, this vulnerability still isn’t patched (Vista updated with latest patches — stated on the blog). Oh Microsoft, we know your good with your Patch Tuesdays and all that stuff, but couldn’t you break down and hand out some emergency patches soon? I mean, should ~50% of the world get owned just in time for Christmas!?

But rapid reader, I bring good news too! Firefox users shouldn’t have a thing to worry about =)

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AVG’s NOPslide

AVG's NOPslide

AVG Technologies (formerly Grisoft) has been through a lot the last 17 years. Its almost considered an adult! From specializing in security software to… well actually they still do the same thing, they just focus greatly on antivirus and antimalware technology today.

In April 2006, AVG acquired Ewido Networks and bumped up their own antivirus’s version from version 7.1 to 7.5. Soon thereafter, Microsoft (!@#$) stated that AVG’s products would even be DIRECTLY available from the Windows Security Center in Vista.

Not cutting many corners, lets shift our focus now on AVG’s acquisition of Exploit Prevention Labs in late in 2007. AVG liked their ‘LinkScanner’ code and later released it in the next huge ‘revision’ of the AVG antivius suite, AVG 8. Now before I bash AVG 8, I will tell you that I used to be a big AVG fan. I always recommended it to everyone, whenever I had the chance. It WAS great — AVG offered advanced protection and ran so smooth and so clean. But at the moment, its bloated, clunky, very slow, a huge resource hog, and I am glad that I don’t have to use it. LinkScanner seems to have great intentions but has, so far, gotten off to a rocky start (or finish). A friend of mine warned me about it when it first was released, and I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, keeping it on the ‘good’ list. I just simply don’t like the fact that it has been near ruined recently, thanks to AVG’s poor decisions.

Just like in poker, “Its about making the best decisions”, and how true that is when you think about it for the software industry too. Everyone makes mistakes, but AVG: PLEASE BE GOOD AGAIN!

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Websites Beware

Websites Beware

For years now, Zone-H.org has been, primarily, a website that mirrors website defacements. And also over the years, nearly every company, government, or otherwise popular/high-profile server has experienced being hacked. In case your not familiar with how it works, I will tell you about the process.

Basically, an attacker defaces the target website in some way and they submit it to Zone-H. Zone-H verifies the defacement and publishes a mirror. They accept any web accessible site, high-profile or not. Blogs, personal websites, mom and pop websites, even free websites haven’t been spared from attackers. But what has made this act so popular, and really into a popularity contest, is Zone-H’s rigorous mirror system, recording stats and names they use to deface, feeding the crave for attention or otherwise.

If you look where they classify and detail ‘special defacements‘, you can see a lot of the attackers’ bread and butter. LG’s Pakistan website, US/Chinese/Malaysian government websites, even on occasion NASA or military websites are hacked and defaced. Some attackers leave politically motivated messages, other just for fun, such as this one by ‘netb00m’:

“LGE pakistan was way to easy to get into.
Its almost like you guys beg to get hack.
Anyway, cant you guys make phones more like palm?
I mean you guy do make good stuff, but palm is alot nicer. =)”

As long as Zone-H mirrors these defacements, the attacks will never end. There is simply too much motivation, too many chances to look ‘cool’. However true that is, sometimes these guys get in trouble. I wish the best for them, but they could help themselves by growing up a little. It may have been ‘cool’ back in the day to the deface websites, but now, its just another risk to take to prove yourself to people who seem to carry themselves on their sleeves.

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Bill Gates on linkedin

I wonder why it took so long.

thanks for the invitation, bill!

He even has 2 nice recommendations. Quite an effort was put on his profile:

86 people couldn't resist accepting. Me makes 87...

And it’s only the contact information that tells the sad story. Note how many variations of ‘bill gates’ were taken in gmail that the pranksters had to use this one:

Bill using gmail? Figures.

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The victims of RPC Trojan Gimmiv were XP boxes in Asia

The RPC Worm Victim List has a list [.txt] of hundreds machines and they are mainly Windows XP machines (MSIE 6.0 or MSIE7.0; Windows NT 5.1 in browser’s user agent).

I made a script to generate WHOIS queries and the results say that the victim machines are located mainly in Australia, China, Philippines, India, Japan, Korea, Malta, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. There are only some machines in France, UK, and USA.

It’s very interesting that there is an IP from Microsoft too – a Wget machine with IP address 64.147.0.80. The Wget version is 1.10.2.

Whois Record

OrgName: Microsoft Corp
OrgID: MSFT
Address: One Microsoft Way
City: Redmond
StateProv: WA
PostalCode: 98052
Country: US

NetRange: 131.107.0.0 – 131.107.255.255
CIDR: 131.107.0.0/16
NetName: MICROSOFT

There are several Wget UA’s included, one with the version number Wget/1.8.2 too.

I recommend that Redmon guys patch that machine ASAP ;-)

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Fuzzing for RPC vulnerabilities

So Dave Aitel said there are no more RPC vulnerabilities because his fuzzer couldn’t find any new ones. Well, I thought it was just a matter of trying more combinations and I was right.

The point, though, is not who has a longer fuzzer, but that when it comes to security always bet against the person who says something is impossible.

In fact, I made that mistake myself back in the 1990s, claiming Windows can’t be reliably exploited (I can’t find the link to the old ntbugtraq archives – thank god for that). Little did I know how easy writing Windows exploits would become. Now if I can only get a message to my younger self to avoid this embarrassment. And if I do get to talk to my young self I’ll be sure to tell me to skip the 2nd and 3rd matrix movies.

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Microsoft Windows RPC Vulnerability MS08-067 (CVE-2008-4250) FAQ – October 2008 [UPDATED]

Summary:
This is Frequently Asked Questions document about new, recently patched RPC vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The document describes related Trojan and worm malware as well.
It is worth of noticing that code execution type vulnerabilities in Office programs are widely used to industrial espionage since 2006. This time the exploitation represents the use of non-Office vulnerabilities and e-mail attack vector is not used.

Update: After the weekend the malware analyses shows that the Trojan has designed to steal credential information and to collect a botnet-like network.

Q: What is the recent Microsoft Window RPC vulnerability disclosed in October?
A: This vulnerability is caused by an error when processing malformed RPC (Remote Procedure Call) requests. The issue was disclosed by the vendor after active exploitation of the vulnerability.
Q: How does the vulnerability mentioned works?
A: The vulnerability is code execution type vulnerability. Attacker successfully exploiting this vulnerability can run code of his or hers choice in the affected machine.
This vulnerability is caused due to overflow when handling malformed RPC requests. This enables executing arbitrary code of the attacker. Technically the vulnerability exists in the Server service.

Q: When this vulnerability was found?
A: The exact information is not available. Information about upcoming security update was announced on 22nd October, but this vulnerability has been used in targeted attacks at least two weeks already. The exploitation disclosed the existence of vulnerability.

Q: What is the mechanism in exploitation?
A: Information was not disclosed, but during the exploitation malicious executables are being downloaded and executed from the remote Web site.

Q: Is the exploit code of this vulnerability publicly released?
A: Yes. On Friday 24th October the proof of concept code was released on a blog of security researcher and on public, moderated security mailing list. The PoC has been released at several well-known exploit and security community Web sites too. Metasploit module has been released too (link). PoC’s work against Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3 and Windows 2003 Server SP2 machines.

Q: Which Windows versions are affected?
A: Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2003 Server and Windows Server 2008 systems are affected.

Q: I am using the 7 Pre-Beta version of Windows, is my operating system affected?
A: According to the Microsoft it is affected too. An update is available (see MS08-067).

Q: I am a home user, is it possible to update my system in a normal way via Microsoft Update?
A: Yes, visiting the Microsoft Update Web site at http://update.microsoft.com/ will update the system against the exploitation of the vulnerability. If the Automatic Updates is enabled the system will be updated automatically without user’s actions.

Q: Where are the official Microsoft documents related to this case located?
A: The official Security Bulletin MS08-067, entitled Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958644) has been released at Microsoft TechNet Security section:
www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-067.mspx
Updated information released by the vendor has been covered at MSRC Blog (The Microsoft Security Response Center Blog). The address of the blog is blogs.technet.com/msrc/.
File information of the MS08-067 security update has been released at separate Knowledge Base document #958644: support.microsoft.com/kb/958644.
Microsoft Security Advisory #958963 released to notify the availability of the security update is located at
www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/958963.mspx

Q: What the term ‘out-of-band’ means?
A: Normally Microsoft releases security updates once a month, at the second Tuesday of the every month. Very rarely, during the Windows ANI vulnerability etc. the security update will come out outside of this regular update cycle. Out-of-band and out-of-cycle describe the situation when waiting the regular update Tuesday, so-called Patch Tuesday is not enough to protect Windows systems against exploitation.
The next security updates will be released on Tuesday 11th November.

Update:
Q: Is this a new Slammer worm?
A: No, due to new security features included to SP2 etc. However, on 3rd Nov it was reported about the worm exploiting this vulnerability.

Q: Are there any workarounds available? Our organization is making tests with the patch still.
A: The security bulletin lists the following workarounds:
-Disable the Server and Computer Browser services
-Block TCP ports 139 and 445 at the firewall

Q: Is there Snort rules for this vulnerability available?
A: Yes. Additional details can be obtained at
www.snort.org/vrt/advisories/vrt-rules-2008-10-23.html
known as a ruleset against Microsoft DCE/RPC remote code execution attempts.
The download address is www.snort.org/pub-bin/downloads.cgi
(to paying Sourcefire customers)
Emerging Threats project has released new signatures too, details at

http://www.emergingthreats.net/index.php/component/content/article/17-sigs/125-weekly-new-signatures-october-25-2008.html

Q: What is the situation of Nessus plugins related to this vulnerability?
A: Nessus Plugin ID #34476 has been released. More information is available at
www.nessus.org/plugins/index.php?view=single&id=34476

Q: What are the target organizations etc. of this vulnerability?
A: This information is not available and probably it will never go public. Microsoft has confirmed that fever than 100 organizations are targeted in targeted attacks.

Q: Is there information about file sizes used during the attacks?
A: Yes. The size is 397,312 bytes.
Update: The size can be anything between 49,152 and 417,792 bytes.

Q: How the user can notify the infection?
A: It is reported that the command prompt will appear.

Q: What are the names of malwares exploiting this vulnerability?
A: There are reports about a data collecting Trojan (Gimmiv.A) and a Trojan searching for non-patched machines on LAN (Arpoc.A).

The following names are being used (listed in alphabetical order):
AhnLab – Dropper/Gimmiv.397312 since 2008.10.24.04
Authentium – W32/Gimmiv.A since 23rd Oct
Avira – TR/Dldr.Agent.gcx since 24th Oct, iVDF 7.00.07.81
Bitdefender – Win32.Worm.Gimmiv.A since since 23rd Oct
- dropper detected as Win32.Worm.Gimmiv.B
CA – Win32/Gimmiv.A since eTrust 31.6.6167
ClamAV – Trojan.Gimmiv since 8524
- Trojan.Gimmiv-1…Trojan.Gimmiv-7 since 8526
Dr.Web – DLOADER.PWS.Trojan since 23rd Oct
Eset – Win32/Gimmiv.A since 24th Oct, v.3551
- Win32/Spy.Gimmiv, Win32/Spy.Gimmiv.A since v.3553
- Win32/Spy.Gimmiv.B since v.3555
Fortinet – W32/Gimmiv.A!tr.spy
- name change: W32/Gimmiv.A!worm since 9.676
F-Secure – Trojan-Spy:W32/Gimmiv.A since 2008-10-24_01
- Trojan-Spy:W32/Gimmiv.B since 2008-10-24_05
- Trojan-Spy:W32/Gimmiv.C, D, E, F variants since 2008-10-24_08
- Net-Worm.Win32.Gimmiv.a since 25th Oct 2008-10-25_01
McAfee – PWS.y!C91DA1B9 since DAT5413
- Spy-Agent.da since 23rd Oct, DAT5414, its DLL component detected as Spy-Agent.da.dll
Microsoft – TrojanSpy:Win32/Gimmiv.A[.dll] since 23rd Oct
- since 24th Oct update 1.4005 included signatures
- exploit: Exploit:Win32/MS08067.gen!A
Kaspersky – Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.alce since 24th Oct, 7.0.0.125
Panda Security – detected as ‘Suspicious file’ since 23rd Oct, 9.0.0.4
- Gimmiv.A since 24th Oct
PCTools – Trojan-Spy.Gimmiv.A
Prevx – detected as ‘Cloaked Malware‘
Rising – Trojan.Spy.Win32.Undef.z since 23rd Oct, 21.00.32.00
Sophos – Sus/Dropper-A since 21st Aug (based to heuristic techniques)
- additionally Troj/Gimmiv-A, IDEs since 4.34.0,
- Troj/Gimmiv-Gen since 4th Nov
Symantec – Infostealer since 23rd Oct
- name change: Trojan.Gimmiv.A since 24th Oct, rev. 024
- malicious files detected as Bloodhound.Exploit.212
Trend Micro – WORM_GIMMIV.A since 5.617.00
- TSPY_GIMMIV.A since 5.617.00

where ’2008.10.24.04’ states that these virus signatures or newer include a protection for the malware.

Alias names CVE-2008-4250, W32.Slugin.A and W32/NetAPI32.RPC!exploit.M20084250 are in use too.

Update: Added Arpoc section:
BitDefender – Win32.Worm.Gimmiv.B
CA – Win32/Gimmiv.B since 31.6.6172
Dr.Web – Win32.HLLW.Jimmy.3 since unknown signatures
McAfee – Spy-Agent.da since DAT5414, its DLL component detected as Spy-Agent.da.dll

Update: Added RPC worm section:
AntiVir – TR/Expl.MS08-067.G
BitDefender – Trojan.Downloader.Shelcod.A
ClamAV – Exploit.MS08-067 since 8566
Eset – Win32/Exploit.MS08-067.B, C and D since 3576
F-Secure – worm component as Exploit.Win32.MS08-067.g
- kernel component as Rootkit.Win32.KernelBot.dg
Ikarus – Virus.Exploit.Win32.MS08.067.g
Kaspersky – Exploit.Win32.MS08-067.g since 31th Oct
McAfee – kernel component as KerBot!37E73FFB since DAT5422
Microsoft – Exploit:Win32/MS08067.gen!A
- Trojan:Win32/Wecorl.A
- Trojan:Win32/Wecorl.B
Norman – kernel component as w32/agent.jbvo
Prevx – Worm.KernelBot
Sophos – Mal/Generic-A
- Exp/MS08067-A since 4th Nov
Symantec – W32.Wecorl since 3rd Nov (latest daily certified version) rev. 052
- W32.Kernelbot.A since 3rd Nov (latest daily certified version) rev. 041
Trend Micro – WORM_KERBOT.A since 5.637.00
- WORM_WECORL.A since 5.640.05

Q: What kind of payload this Trojan horse has?
A: This is what the Trojan gathers (according to Microsoft’s document):
*User Name
*Computer Name
*Network Adapters / IP Addresses
*Installed com objects
*Installed programs and installed patches
*Recently opened documents
*Outlook Express and MSN Messenger credentials
*Protected Storage credentials

Q: What kind of Trojan has attacked to the targeted organizations?
A: It is a very sophisticated and dangerous Trojan. It encrypts the data with AES and deletes itself after its operations. Before sending the gathered data to the attacker it reports the AV software of the installation (from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\) as a parameter (BitDefender, Jiangmin, Kingsoft, Kaspersky, Microsoft OneCare, Rising and Trend Micro).

Q: Are there any changes to Windows registry or the file system made by this malware?
A: The following registry key is being modified:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\sysmgr
The display name of the service being generated is System Maintenance Service.
The malicious files are being copied to System32\wbem folder including basesvc.dll, syicon.dll, winbase.dll and winbaseInst.exe. NOTE: After being executed the Trojan deletes these files and itself.
Update: According to Arbor Networks the file C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\macnabi.log is being dropped too.

Q: Now I know that my anti-virus software can report computers in my organizations as clean because the Trojan has deleted itself from the system. What are the malicious executables that I can search them and examine logs etc.?
A: There are several names and all of the files has same size mentioned earlier, i.e. 397,312 bytes.
Update: According to McAfee the size varies from 49,152 to 417,792 bytes.

The most common file name is N2.exe. However, file names Nx.exe are widely spreading as well; [x] represents a number from 1 through 9.
The MD5 hash of the one specific N2.exe file in the wild on 23rd Oct is f173007fbd8e2190af3be7837acd70a4.
Update: To list one more the MD5 hash of n5.exe is 24cd978da62cff8370b83c26e134ff4c.

Prevx database knows the following file names too:
15197927.EXE, 00003106.EXE, NVIR/N2.EXE, 18912604.EXE, 54800477.DAT
The format of the file can be NVIR/N3.EXE etc. too.

Q: What type of network connections these malware make?
A: Gimmiv.A sends an ICMP Echo Request packet to multiple IP addresses including the string ”abcde12345fghij6789”.

Q: How can I recognize malicious files spreading RPC worm (Exploit.Win32.MS08-067.g)?
A: The files names reported in the wild are 6767.exe and KernekDbg.exe.

Q: What is the size of these files?
A: The size are various, but many of them are 16,384 bytes long.

Q: What kind of network connections the worm makes and are there any modifications made to Windows registry?
A: It connects to robot.10wrj.com, ls.cc86.info, ls.lenovowireless.net and ls.playswomen.com. Yes, the worm will add the new value to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Licenses and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Google.

Q: Are there any changes to Windows HOSTS file?
A: Yes, the lines
127.0.0.1 dnl-cn1.kaspersky-labs.com
127.0.0.1 alert.rising.com.cn
127.0.0.1 www.mcafee.com
will be added yo the HOSTS file.

Q: Is there CVE name available to this issue?
A: Yes. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has released the following CVE candidate CVE-2008-4250:
cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2008-4250

Q: What is the CVSS severity of this vulnerability?
A: The CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) score is 10.0 (High).

Q: Is there a CWE class assigned?
A: The CWE (Common Weakness Enumeration) ID of the vulnerability, in turn, is #119, i.e. Failure to Constrain Operations within the Bounds of an Allocated Memory Buffer class:
cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/119.html

Q: Is there a CME name available?
A: No. The Common Malware Enumeration (CME) project has not assigned an identifier for these malware.

Q: When exploiting this RPC vulnerability is the authentication needed?
A: On Windows 2000, XP, and Windows Server 2003 systems arbitrary code can be run without authentication. On Vista systems the authentication is needed.

Q: What is the vulnerable component?
A: It is netapi32.dll (Net Win32 API DLL). On Windows 2000 SP4 the non-affected version is 5.0.2195.7203, on Windows XP SP3 5.1.2600.5694 and on Vista SP1 there are several 6.0.6000.xxxx versions, see KB958644 for details. The vulnerable Windows API call is NetPathCanonicalize(), in turn.
Secunia has renamed its vulnerability advisory to Windows Path canonicalisation vulnerability. It states that processing directory traversal character sequences in path names enables to send drafted RPC requests to the Server Service.

(c) Juha-Matti Laurio, Finland (UTC +2hrs)
The author has released several Microsoft Office 0-day vulnerability FAQ documents, e.g.
blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/759
and Windows Vector Markup Language vulnerability FAQ’s
blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/640
since 2006.

Revision History:
1.0 25-10-2008 Initial release
1.1 26-10-2008 Updated document and some minor fixes
1.2 26-10-2008 Major updates to Trojan section, added credits, information of non-affected dll versions and Snort rule reference
1.3 27-10-2008 Added information about the various file names and sizes, a separate Arpoc section and Nessus plugin reference and [UPDATED] to the title
1.4 27-10-2008 Several virus description release dates and ID’s added, updated the summary to clarify the characteristics of the exploitation
1.5 28-10-2008 Added Microsoft Security Advisory #958963 link
1.6 29-10-2008 Added names to Arpoc Trojan section
1.7 03-11-2008 Updated the exploit/PoC section and added information about the worm exploiting the vulnerability
1.8 04-11-2008 Added names to RPC worm section, updated the summary
1.9 05-11-2008 Added information about Windows HOSTS file modification and new worm names

Credits: Microsoft, AV vendors, Prevx Malware Center

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The Security Question Vulnerability

How easy is it to break into your Gmail account? How about Yahoo! Or Windows Live?
If you provided a truthful answer to the security question during signup, it is probably quite easy to hijack your account, with just a little bit of a research.

Take a look at the Yahoo! Security Questions:

Yahoo Security Questions

Are these security questions?

Anyone that knows my address can easily figure out the name of my first school or my high school mascot. All of my neighbors, family and friends know both my dog’s name and my dad’s middle name, and everybody in the world knows I just LOVE the Lakers. As for my wife and me, the people who attended our wedding had the chance to hear about it in the ceremony – in case you couldn’t make it, we met on a roof of a bus, in Ladakh, India in 1994…

The fact that the answer to each of the security questions above is relatively easy to find out, makes them a security vulnerability in my Yahoo! account.
By letting me make a security key based on the name of my first school, Yahoo! actually puts me at risk, allowing anyone that knows where I live to hijack my account. It’s like saying “We have the greatest lock to protect your house. Now, why don’t we hide the key under the mat”.

Windows Live is pretty much the same as Yahoo!:

windows live security questions
Gmail is a little bit more sophisticated with one major difference:
gmail security questions

Gmail is the only one of these three that allows you to choose your own question.
By letting you do that, Gmail asks “which question only you can answer?” I think that most people might still come up with “Who is my favorite singer”, “What is my date of birth” or “My dog’s name”.
However, that isn’t a security vulnerability encouraged by Google. If they give you the tools and you fail to use them, it’s not their fault.

So, what can we do about it?
If you can write your own question, How to unblock Facebook that would be the best. If not, choose the question about the name of your first school and put your first phone number as the answer. That’s what I did! :)
Got better ideas? Share them with us!

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Disaster recovery not just for natural disasters

There is always a lot of talk about disaster recovery being important against, flood, weather, power failures, etc. But very little talk on disaster recovery due to security events.

When a security event happens, it is a disaster. It can mean downtime to your web site, or that your records were deleted or modified, and sometimes the biggest disaster is the bad PR day.

Typical disaster plans talk about a short failover time, but neglect to take into account what happens if one server was compromised. In this case, how will the short failover time affect it – will the corrupt or modified data propagate to the failover server causing two failed sites instead of one?

With recent break-ins reaching the news, where extremist groups hacking into any site they can gain access to, I see too often the web site show a banner, just after the break in, saying that it will be back in a few days. I’m left wondering if when they’re back, will they still suffer from the same security hole (most likely an SQL injection) that allowed the attackers in the first place? What about hidden malware – was the server reinstalled from scratch? And what backup was used to restore – the one with the attacker’s backdoor? I think we all know the answers…

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Word Viewer – it can be your workaround in the latest Word 0-day case

In many Word 0-day vulnerabilities covered by SecuriTeam Blogs Word Viewer utility is being included to affected products.

This week the situation is different, however.

Related to the most recent MS Word vulnerability Word Viewer 2003 and Word Viewer 2003 Service Pack 3 are not vulnerable (Microsoft’s advisory here). Word Viewer 2003 SP3 KB document here, in turn.
To readers not familiar with these cases: Normally these vulnerabilities are being reported related to targeted attacks via e-mail. References are listed here: CVE-2008-2244. This particular case in known as so-called attachement.doc case. Trojan malware related to this case is from MSWord.Agent.cq series.

There are connections to Beijing Olympics too – in the form of attend_the_opening_ceremony_of_the_29th_olympic_games_in_beijin.doc files too.

A fix for this vulnerability is not expected before August ‘s Black Tuesday. The most important question is: how to implement the use of Word Viewer in your organization.

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Office file specs released – new vulnerabilities to come?

As Microsoft released the Office file specs for the upcoming Office 2007, I can’t stop from thinking that even though these are specs for Office 2007 files, they must have similarities and are at least partly backward compatible with Office 200x.

This means they can be used by vulnerability researchers (good and bad) to more easily discover new vulnerabilities in Office as with the spec laid out, complete and systematic searching can be done.

Time will tell – lets start counting how many Office related vulnerabilities are released over the next few months – and see if we can find a correlation.

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Still using Windows 2000? you are at risk

As Microsoft gradually stops supporting Windows 2000, vendors of other products around them also stop supporting it. This is no big deal for those that moved to Windows XP, 2003 or Vista – but it could be a big deal to all those that simply don’t have the computer power to do the switch and want to stick to their working OS.

Microsoft has promised to release security related patches for Windows 2000 for a bit more, but this will eventually stop – what is more concerning is the fact that Adobe and Apple have done this quietly and are placing their users at risk.

It has been quite a while now that Adobe [Acrobat Reader] has not released an update for its software with the claim – you guessed it – unsupported OS, and even more than a while that Apple [QuickTime] has not released an update for Windows 2000.

With the emergence of new vulnerabilities for Acrobat Read and QuickTime people are not only left behind on the vulnerability prevention race track, they are not made aware of it – both programs don’t care enough to give their users adequate wanning they are at risk.

List of issues affecting QuickTime with no apparent fix for Windows 2000:

* QuickTime 7.2 issues, QuickTime 7.3 issues, QuickTime 7.4 issues, QuickTime 7.5 issues – all these probably affect QuickTime 7.1 too

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A new WMF attack looming?

It appears that a new WMF attack is coming, as you recall about a year back an WMF vulnerability was used on several high profile sites to infect visitors, this now appears to start happening again.

The first sign of this is the appearance of exploits for the vulnerability, starting off with version specific and evolving into a generic one.

The second sign is web sites being infect with hidden iframe that redirect to a javascript code that is at the moment dormant, or refers to non-existing domains.

The last stage is those javascripts getting modified, or the non-existing domains poping up into existing, you got yourself an infection.

It is time to start your vulnerability assessment engines, make sure all your windows based machines are tested, verify that your website passes a web site audit, and lastly get updated as this news item evolves.

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State of targeted attacks – criminals exploiting Excel vuln during two months

It’s time to look the recent state of targeted attacks. Like we already know the main attack vector in these attacks is Microsoft Office attachment. There are no many organizations that simply can filter .DOC, .XLS and .PPT files.
In mid-January Microsoft confirmed that a new, previously unknown Excel vulnerability was used in targeted attacks. On Monday this week US-CERT issued a warning about the new wave of exploitation. This extremely critical vulnerability, rated ’10.0′ by CVSS meter BTW, was known as header information code execution vulnerability.
The fix is included to today’s Excel Bulletin MS08-014. However, Microsoft says the following now:

What causes the vulnerability?

Microsoft Excel does not properly validate macro information when loading specially crafted Excel files.

In January we had a very small pieces of information related tho this vuln and Trojan exploiting it.

Information about the characteristics of these targeted attack can be read via my FAQ documents.

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MBR rootkit – here’s some references

Prevx Blog has a good writeup located at prevx.com/blog/75/Master-Boot-Record-Rootkit…

SANS Internet Storm Center has released an interesting timeline story – link here.

From the post based to Verisign iDefense data:

….

  • Oct. 30, 2007 – Original version of MBR rootkit written and tested by attackers
  • Dec. 12, 2007 – First known attacks installing MBR code
    about 1,800 users infected in four days.

McAfee detects the Trojan as StealthMBR (DAT 5204 or above) and Symantec as Trojan.Mebroot. Sophos uses name Troj/Mbroot-A, in turn. There are names like Trojan.Win32.Agent.dsj and TROJ_AGENT.APA assigned too.

10th Jan: Trend Micro uses the name TROJ_SINOWAL.AD
12th Jan: Symantec sees the infected MBR as Boot.Mebroot. McAfee uses the name StealthMBR!rootkit too.

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Another case of the infected HD

A second event of malware infected HD has been discovered, this the second time it has happened in 4 months. The HD are part of “about 1,800 brand new 300-GB or 500-GB external hard drives made for Maxtor in Thailand” that include an autorun.inf file that will execute as soon as the disk is placed into the computer.

More details on the background can be found here and a bit more details on the origin can be read here.

In the old days this wouldn’t have happened as disks were “factory formatted” – requiring you to do a low-level format to start working with them, or at least partition them before use and they weren’t pre-formatted or even contained data on them.
P.S of course Windows is the only operating system that will get infected – Linux or MacOS won’t care about the presence of the autorun.inf file (or the ghost.pif file that is launched by it).

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