Menu
IE zero-day exploit being used in widespread attacks

IE zero-day exploit being used in widespread attacks

The exploit is being distributed from many compromised websites around the world, researchers from Symantec said

The number of attacks exploiting a yet-to-be-patched vulnerability in Internet Explorer has increased dramatically over the past few days, indicating the exploit is no longer used just in targeted attacks against particular groups of people.

The vulnerability affects Internet Explorer 9 and 10 and was publicly revealed on Feb. 13 by researchers from security firm FireEye who found an exploit for the flaw being served from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) website. Security researchers from security firm Websense later reported that the same vulnerability was being exploited from the compromised website of French aerospace association GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales).

Microsoft published a security advisory about the vulnerability, which is tracked as CVE-2014-0322, and released a "Fix It" tool as a temporary workaround. However, the company has not yet released a regular patch through the regular Windows update channel.

The attacks reported by FireEye and Websense are known as "watering hole attacks" because they involve compromising websites visited by particular groups of people that attackers wish to target -- in these particular cases U.S. military personnel and French defense contractors.

This kind of attacks are different than the catch-all drive-by download attacks where exploits are delivered from a large number of compromised websites in order to affect as many Web users as possible.

"We have continued to closely monitor attacks focusing on CVE-2014-0322," security researchers from Symantec said Tuesday in a blog post. "We've observed trends suggesting that attacks targeting this vulnerability are no longer confined to advanced persistent threats (APT) -- the zero-day attacks are expanding to attack average Internet users as well."

According to Symantec's telemetry data, the number of attacks that exploit this vulnerability increased dramatically since Feb. 22 and affected users in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A particularly large number of attacks were detected in Japan and the type of websites that were compromised to deliver the zero-day exploit varied.

"The following sites were compromised in these attacks: a community site for mountain hikers, an adult dating service site, a website promoting language education, a website providing financial market information, an online shopping site and the website of a Japanese tour provider," the Symantec researchers said.

The sites hosted the exploit themselves or had a rogue iframe injected into them that loaded the exploit from a different site. Based on the components used, the Symantec researchers believe the same group of attackers is behind the compromises.

"If the attack is successful, the exploit drops a banking Trojan that steals login details from certain banks," the Symantec researchers said.

Users should either upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, which is not affected by this vulnerability, or install the Fix It solution provided by Microsoft.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesonline safetysymantecMicrosoftsecurityFireEyeExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalwarewebsenseintrusion

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments