Microsoft Office zero-day being exploited to spread malware

Discussion in 'Cybersecurity News' started by Forensicator, Apr 12, 2017.

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    Malicious hackers are exploiting an as-yet-unpatched security vulnerability in Microsoft Office products in attacks designed to secretly infect targeted computers with malware.

    The vulnerability is thought to be in all versions of Microsoft Office, including Office 2016 running on Windows 10.

    The malicious code comes in the form of a boobytrapped OL2link object embedded within the file.

    When a victim opens the poisoned Word document, a decoy file is displayed while the malware silently installs malicious code downloaded from the web in the background.

    Although the malicious samples seen to date have used Word documents to carry their poisoned payload, the OLE2link exploit could be embedded within other Microsoft Office files such as Powerpoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.

    A variety of different well-known malware families are thought to be being distributed by attackers exploiting the zero-day vulnerability – which does not rely upon the tried-and-trusted technique of tricking a victim into enabling macros. Security-savvy computer users have known for some years to be wary of documents that pop up warnings that macros need to be enabled, but in this particular attack that safety net simply isn’t available.

    However, file opened in Protected View have a less chance of allowing the malware run.

    An advice has though been given on how to block files with such embedded malware.


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