New PDF Exploit Being Circulated In High Volume Through Ongoing Spam Campaign

PDF/Pidief.BV ranked second for overall malware activity this month

June 5, 2010

3 Min Read


SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 3, 2010 - Fortinet' (NASDAQ: FTNT) - a leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions – today announced its May 2010 Threat Landscape report showed a new PDF exploit being circulated in high volume through an ongoing spam campaign. The vulnerability, first blogged about by Didier Stevens on March 29, 2010, is CVE-2010-1240, and the malicious documents now exploiting this are detected by Fortinet as PDF/Pidief.BV!exploit. Though no patch exists, Adobe has recommended mitigation strategies on its blog. To further combat the threat, Fortinet recommends implementing an intrusion prevention and antivirus solution. This vulnerability was ranked second for overall malware activity this month, behind only the nefarious Pushdo botnet.

“What sets PDF/Pidief.BV apart from other PDF threats we are seeing, is that it requires user interaction,” said Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research, Fortinet. “More specifically, a user needs to click on the ‘open’ button when prompted by a dialog box to initiate the infection. This threat is another reason why it’s imperative for users to carefully read these types of messages when they appear.”

In the case of PDF/Pidief.BV, clicking “open” will first execute VBScript and then add a malicious botnet loader binary, which compromises the system. For detailed information on this specific PDF attack, please view our FortiGuard virus encyclopedia entry here.

Botnet Activity on the Rise

Botnet activity remained strong this report, with Gumblar and Sasfis present in both the Top 10 Attack and Top 10 Malware lists. Though the main botnetssuch as Pushdo, Cutwail and Sasfis continue to pose significant threats, newer botnets are emerging. We first saw the CMultiLoader botnet in the wild on April 8, 2010. A variant of this botnet, W32/CMultiLoader.A, has landed in the sixth spot in our Top 10 Malware list this report. The Katusha botnet just missed our Top 10 list this report, ranking #11. These are two examples of up and coming botnets that are making waves. Fortinet detects the Katusha sample as W32/Katusha.1824!tr. Total detected malware volume for this report has remained fairly consistent since the beginning of the year, though distinct detection continues to rise. This indicates more variations of malware circulating in cyberspace as malware creators continue to pack, encrypt and morph their malicious binaries.

FortiGuard Labs compiled threat statistics and trends for May based on data collected from FortiGate' network security appliances and intelligence systems in production worldwide. Customers who use Fortinet’s FortiGuard Subscription Services should already be protected against the threats outlined in this report.

To read the full May Threat Landscape report which includes the top threat rankings in each category, please visit: For ongoing threat research, bookmark the FortiGuard Center or add it to your RSS feed. Additional discussion on security technologies and threat analysis can be found at the Fortinet Security Blog. To learn more about FortiGuard Subscription Services, visit

Rick Popko

PR Manager, Corporate Communications

Fortinet - Real Time Network Protection

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