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Thursday, 07 November 2013 12:26

Office zero day exploited by two groups

Written by Nick Farrell



Graphics component in Word docs

A zero-day vulnerability, which was discovered that exploits a Microsoft graphics component using malicious Word documents, appears to be attacking Indian and Pakistan targets.

FireEye’s Research team has analysed this zero-day exploit and found a connection between these attacks and earlier attacks in India and Pakistan. Information obtained from a command-and-control server (CnC) used in recent attacks indicateds that the Hangover group, believed to operate from India, has compromised 78 computers, 47 percent of those in Pakistan.

FireEye has also found that another group also has access to this exploit and is using it to deliver the Citadel Trojan malware. This group, which we call the Arx group, may have had access to the exploit before the Hangover group did. Information obtained from CnCs operated by the Ark group revealed that 619 targets have been compromised. The majority of the targets are in India (63 percent) and Pakistan (19 percent).

This seems to indicate that use of this zero-day exploit is more widespread than previously believed and two different groups are using this exploit: Hangover and Ark. Hangover has been previously connected with a targeted malware campaign, and the Ark group is operating a Citadel-based botnet for organised crime.

Nick Farrell

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