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Software|Adobe Updates April 2014

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted April 08, 20:38  GMT
Tags: Adobe

This month's Adobe Patch Tuesday revolves around Flash. This means the zero-days used by VUPEN to exploit Adobe Reader at CanSecWest last month go unpatched.

CVE-2014-0506 and CVE-2014-0507 deal with remote code execution and were both used separately at CanSecWest's Pwn2Own. (It looks like these CVEs were initially assigned CVE-2014-0511 and CVE-2014-0510.)

News|Adobe's first Patch Tuesday of 2014

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted January 14, 17:59  GMT
Tags: Adobe

This month's Adobe Patch Tuesday release sees fixes for Flash Player, Acrobat and Reader. All vulnerabilities get the highest priority rating. This means future exploits are likely.

News|Adobe Security Updates December 2013 - Fixing CVE-2013-5331 and more

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted December 10, 20:02  GMT
Tags: Adobe

This month Adobe's realing fixes for both Flash Player and Shockwave.

The vulnerabilies for Flash Player affect all platforms and concern two CVEs - CVE-2013-5331 and CVE-2013-5332, which both allow for remote code execution. Eploitation of CVE-2013-5331 using Microsoft Word as a leverage mechanism has been observed in the wild. Though Flash 11.6 introduced Click-to-Play for Office, users may still be socially engineered into running Flash content in Office documents. Make sure to apply this patch promptly.

Events|November Adobe Patches

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted November 12, 20:32  GMT
Tags: Adobe

This month's Adobe Security Update round is a relatively quiet one, in contrast to the Microsoft patch cycle. There are two bulletins, one affecting Flash Player and one affecting ColdFusion.

After the discovery of a major breach at Adobe recently some would perhaps have expected a bigger number of CVEs to get patched this round. It will be interesting to see how the breach will affect patch cycles in the coming months.

Incidents|Fake CNN emails claim US have started bombing Syria

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted September 06, 16:51  GMT
Tags: Adobe, Oracle

We're currently seeing a spam run which involves a (fake) report from CNN saying that the US have started bombing Syria.

Clicking the shortened link will lead to an exploit kit which targets older, vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader and Java. The attackers favor using the Java exploit over the Reader exploit, as Java exploits are generally more reliable.

The exploit will download a Trojan-Downloader onto the system, which will subsequently download various other malware.


A new-ish Flash exploit has been on the loose for attacks around the web. This time, the attackers have compromised a caregiver site providing support for Tibetan refugee children and are spreading backdoors signed with Winnti stolen certificates delivered with Flash exploits - the compromised web site is the NGO "Tibetan Homes Foundation". Previously, FireEye identified similar "Lady Boyle" related malicious swf exploiting CVE-2013-0634. A notification has been sent to the contacts of the web site, but apparently the malicious footer.swf file is still hosted at the Foundation's web site, so please do not visit it just yet. Also, be sure to update your Flash player to the latest version.

This site certainly appears to be a classic example of a "watering hole" attack. F-Secure pointed out another Lady Boyle watering hole set up against a related Uyghur group, which has been targeted in tandem following the early March World Uyghur Congress. The delivered backdoors are shown to be signed with Winnti-stolen digital certificates in the F-Secure post, including the stolen MGAME certificate.

Here is an example of those same stolen certs reused for the backdoors in the Tibetan Homes Foundation incident. We see both the MGAME cert and the ShenZehn certs signing the backdoors, here are screenshots of the latter:

Our products detect the Flash exploit+payload as Exploit.SWF.CVE-2013-0634.a. Here is a heatmap of our worldwide detections. Note that not all of these detections are Lady Boyle related, I estimate that at least a third of them are:

Other sites hosting the Lady Boyle swf exploit over the past couple of months have included "tibetangeeks.com", who recently cleaned up their site and posted a cooperative plea to their attackers, and "vot.org" or the "Voice of Tibet" which is also cleaned up. Currently cleaned up but previously serving "Exploit.SWF.CVE-2013-0634.a" were Uyghur related sites "istiqlaltv.com" and "maarip.org", with the same "LadyBoyle" swf path as the Tibetan Homes Foundation, i.e.:

So, what we have is an active watering hole campaign implementing a fairly new Flash exploit and abusing digital certificates that were stolen as a part of the ongoing Winnti targeted attack campaigns on game developers and publishers.

Related md5:

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Incidents|New Uyghur and Tibetan Themed Attacks Using PDF Exploits

Costin Raiu
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted March 14, 10:55  GMT
Tags: Adobe PDF, Targeted Attacks, Adobe
Igor Soumenkov
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted March 14, 10:55  GMT
Tags: Adobe PDF, Targeted Attacks, Adobe

On Feb 12th 2013, FireEye announced the discovery of an Adobe Reader 0-day exploit which is used to drop a previously unknown, advanced piece of malware. We called this new malware "ItaDuke" because it reminded us of Duqu and because of the ancient Italian comments in the shellcode copied from Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy".

Previously, we posted about another campaign hitting Governments and other institutions, named Miniduke, which was also using the same "Divine Comedy" PDF exploits.

In the meantime, we've come by other attacks which piggyback on the same high level exploit code, only this time the targets are different: Uyghur activists.

Together with our partner at AlienVault Labs, we analyzed these new exploits. For their blog, which includes Yara rules and industry standard IOC's, please read [here]. For our analysis, please read below.

The new attacks

A few days ago, we observed several PDF files which carry the CVE-2013-0640/641 (ItaDuke) exploits. Some of the MD5s and filenames include:

7005e9ee9f673edad5130b3341bf5e5f        2013-Yilliq Noruz Bayram Merik isige Teklip.pdf
d00e4ac94f1e4ff67e0e0dfcf900c1a8        ÁLÃûÐÅ.pdf (joint_letter.pdf)
ad668992e15806812dd9a1514cfc065b        arp.pdf

The Kaspersky detection name for these exploits is Exploit.JS.Pdfka.gjc.


Microsoft releases nine March Security Bulletins. Four of the Bulletins are rated critical, but of the 20 vulnerabilities being patched, 12 are rated critical and enable remote code execution and elevation of privilege. Microsoft software being patched with critical priority include Internet Explorer, Silverlight, Visio Viewer, and SharePoint. So, pretty much everyone running Windows, and lots of Microsoft shops, should be diligently patching systems today.

Pwn2own attracted top offensive security talent to Cansecwest and awarded a half million in prizes for fresh 0day this year, but the event didn't force much Microsoft fix development for this Bulletin release. Adobe, Java, Firefox and Chrome were all hit this year along with two Internet Explorer 10 0day for full compromise on Windows 8 on a Windows Surface Pro tablet.
Instead, MS013-021 is one giant "Internet Explorer Use-After-Free patch", addressing the longest list of IE use-after-free vulnerabilities in a single monthly Bulletin to date. Knowing that only one of these vulnerabilities was disclosed publicly, it almost looks as though they fixed a fuzzer in their own labs or someone stepped up development of their own.

MS013-022 addresses a memory pointer check in Silverlight component HTML rendering - an unusual problem known as "double de-referencing". The interesting thing here is that this client side RCE enables exploitation across not only all of its supported Windows systems, but across Apple's Mac OS X systems. In the light of OS X mass exploitation this past year and the recent slew of OS X-enabled targeted attacks, this patch is important to folks lugging around systems running OS X.

Microsoft recommends that EMET helps mitigate both the Internet Explorer and the Silverlight issues.

On the server side, altogether different from the client side memory corruption issues above, we see a web service vulnerability in Sharepoint, a pretty widely distributed service in organizations. The eye popper here includes an EoP enabled by an XSS flaw that provides remote users with a method to issue Sharepoint commands in the context of an administrative user on the site. These Sharepoint flaws were all privately reported by an outside researcher, but no public disclosure is known. At the same time, a denial of service and buffer overflow issue is being addressed in the Sharepoint code.

MS012-023 addresses vulnerable code in Visio Viewer 2010, but the vulnerable code also is delivered in components within Microsoft Office. The odd thing is that there is no known code path traversal through the vulnerable code within Microsoft Office. And, Microsoft maintains four or five versions of Visio Viewer, a widely used piece of software for organizations to distribute diagrams and charts of all types. However, this vulnerability only affects one version - Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010. Nonetheless, Microsoft is leaning towards addressing any and all security issues (including unknown future issues), and patching the code everywhere it resides including Microsoft Office, whether or not it is traversed at runtime within Office.

Of the lesser rated vulnerabilities, the kernel mode USB descriptor issue seems the most interesting. And yes, the title of this post is out-of proportion and fairly ridiculous. I don't expect another Stuxnet to rise up simply because of this vulnerability. But, in a flashback to Stuxnet exploit vectors, it provides another vector of delivery for arbitrary code to be executed in kernel mode simply by inserting a USB device into a system.
To clarify, the danger here does not lie in the immediate potential for another Stuxnet. The immediate danger lies in the availability of attack surface demonstrated by Stuxnet to enable highly secured, air gapped industrial environments to be infiltrated with Pearl Harbor style surprise and effectiveness.

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(or, how many cool words can you fit into one title)

On Feb 12th 2013, FireEye announced the discovery of an Adobe Reader 0-day exploit which is used to drop a previously unknown, advanced piece of malware. We called this new malware "ItaDuke" because it reminded us of Duqu and because of the ancient Italian comments in the shellcode copied from Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy".

Since the original announcement, we have observed several new attacks using the same exploit (CVE-2013-0640) which drop other malware. Between these, we've observed a couple of incidents which are so unusual in many ways that we-ve decided to analyse them in depth.

Together with our partner CrySyS Lab, we've performed a detailed analysis of these unusual incidents which suggest a new, previously unknown threat actor. For the CrySyS Lab analysis, please read [here]. For our analysis, please read below.

Key findings include:

• The MiniDuke attackers are still active at this time and have created malware as recently as February 20, 2013. To compromise the victims, the attackers used extremely effective social engineering techniques which involved sending malicious PDF documents to their targets. The PDFs were highly relevant and well-crafted content that fabricated human rights seminar information (ASEM) and Ukraine-s foreign policy and NATO membership plans.

Malicious PDF

These malicious PDF files were rigged with exploits attacking Adobe Reader versions 9, 10 and 11, bypassing its sandbox.

• Once the system is exploited, a very small downloader is dropped onto the victim-s disc that-s only 20KB in size. This downloader is unique per system and contains a customized backdoor written in Assembler. When loaded at system boot, the downloader uses a set of mathematical calculations to determine the computer-s unique fingerprint, and in turn uses this data to uniquely encrypt its communications later.

• If the target system meets the pre-defined requirements, the malware will use Twitter (unbeknownst to the user) and start looking for specific tweets from pre-made accounts. These accounts were created by MiniDuke-s Command and Control (C2) operators and the tweets maintain specific tags labeling encrypted URLs for the backdoors.

These URLs provide access to the C2s, which then provide potential commands and encrypted transfers of additional backdoors onto the system via GIF files.

• Based on the analysis, it appears that the MiniDuke-s creators provide a dynamic backup system that also can fly under the radar - if Twitter isn-t working or the accounts are down, the malware can use Google Search to find the encrypted strings to the next C2. This model is flexible and enables the operators to constantly change how their backdoors retrieve further commands or malcode as needed.

• Once the infected system locates the C2, it receives encrypted backdoors that are obfuscated within GIF files and disguised as pictures that appear on a victim-s machine.

Once they are downloaded to the machine, they can fetch a larger backdoor which carries out the cyberespionage activities, through functions such as copy file, move file, remove file, make directory, kill process and of course, download and execute new malware and lateral movement tools.

• The final stage backdoor connects to two servers, one in Panama and one in Turkey to receive the instructions from the attackers.

• The attackers left a small clue in the code, in the form of the number 666 (0x29A hex) before one of the decryption subroutines:

• By analysing the logs from the command servers, we have observed 59 unique victims in 23 countries:

Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.

For the detailed analysis and information on how to protect against the attack, please read:

[The MiniDuke Mystery: PDF 0-day Government Spy Assembler 0x29A Micro Backdoor.PDF]

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Last week, Adobe released a patch for a vulnerability in Flash Player that was being exploited in targeted attacks.

Before reading any further, we recommend you to take a moment make sure you apply this patch. Adobe offers this nifty tool to check that you have the latest version of Flash Player.

If you are running Google Chrome, make sure you have version -24.0.1312.57 m- or later.

Now back to CVE-2013-0633, the critical vulnerability that was discovered and reported to Adobe by Kaspersky Lab researchers Sergey Golovanov and Alexander Polyakov. The exploits for CVE-2013-0633 have been observed while monitoring the so-called -legal- surveillance malware created by the Italian company HackingTeam. In this blog, we will describe some of the attacks and the usage of this 0-day to deploy malware from -HackingTeam- marketed as Remote Control System.