New Flash exploit used to distribute credential-stealing malware

The exploit is embedded into documents distributed as email attachments, researchers from Kaspersky Lab said

A new exploit that prompted Adobe to release an emergency patch for Flash Player was used in targeted attacks that distributed malware designed to steal log-in credentials for email and other online services, according to researchers from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab.

Adobe released new versions of Flash Player for Windows, Mac and Linux Tuesday in order to address a critical remote code execution vulnerability for which, the company said, an exploit existed in the wild. Kaspersky Lab researchers Alexander Polyakov and Anton Ivanov were credited with reporting the vulnerability.

Eleven SWF (Flash) exploit files that targeted this vulnerability were found, but only one of them contained an executable file as a payload, the Kaspersky Lab researchers said Wednesday in a blog post about their findings.

Some of the other exploits were designed to execute a file from URLs passed to them as a parameter, but the researchers couldn't identify the actual URLs that attackers had used or the files they pointed to.

The SWF files came embedded into .docx files -- Microsoft Word documents -- that had Korean names, but were found on computers in China, the researchers said.

In one case one of the rigged documents was sent as an attachment to an email address registered with 163.com, a Chinese email provider, and was opened from an email client on a computer running Mac OS 10.6.8. However, the exploit was clearly designed to target Windows users.

In two other cases the malicious docx files were found on Windows 7 machines in the cache of Internet browsers, particularly a browser of Chinese origin called Sogou Explorer. This doesn't mean the files hadn't been delivered via email, the Kaspersky researchers said.

The only recovered payload consisted of an executable file that acted as a downloader for additional malware files. The Kaspersky researchers were able to recover two such files.

The first one was a Trojan program designed to steal log-in credentials saved in locally installed programs including Foxmail, OperaMail, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, IncrediMail, Pidgin and Thunderbird, the Kaspersky researchers said. It also steals data entered into Web forms on a variety of websites, many of which are webmail providers. The list of targeted websites includes Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Live.com, AOL.com, Yandex, Mail.ru, gmx.com, fastmail.com, 163.com, lycos.com, mail.com, zoho.com and others.

The second file is a backdoor program that works in conjunction with the first malware, the researchers said. It connects to three command-and-control servers and downloads additional DLL files hidden inside JPEG images.

"We are continuing to follow the bot's activity," the Kaspersky researchers said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwareadobespywarekaspersky labExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Lucian Constantin

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?