Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

3/22/2016
12:00 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Here Are 4 Vulnerabilities Ransomware Attacks Are Exploiting Now

A zero-day exploit exposed in the Hacking Team breach is among the top weapons deployed in recent ransomware attacks, as well as lots of Flash.

Don’t blink, but there’s a common thread in the most recent ransomware attacks: they use four known Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight software bugs that have patches available, according to new research published today.

So if you haven’t already patched recently revealed Flash flaws CVE-2015-7645, CVE-2015-8446, CVE-2015-8651, and Microsoft Silverlight’s CVE-2016-0034, you’ll “significantly” minimize your risk of getting hit by the latest in ransomware threats if you apply these updates, according to Recorded Future, which analyzed which vulns were being exploited most in ransomware attacks as of March 16.

Scott Donnelly, a director at Recorded Future, says he launched the study after talking with a friend at a local Blue Cross/Blue Shield location about worries of the potential threat of a ransomware attack. The organization relies on a vendor for its software-patching, so that made Donnelly wonder which vulnerabilities are being used most by popular exploit kits in ransomware attacks.

“There are multiple ways to get hit by ransomware. We looked at some of the recent vulnerabilities with exploits ... for patch prioritization” planning, Donnelly says.

Recorded Future says its analysis suggests that recent highly publicized attacks on hospitals and police departments in North American and Europe were most likely not targeted attacks: instead, the bad guys had cast a wide net and those poorly patched systems landed right in it.

“We’re now at the point where you can get crippled in same way as with targeted attack [as you can] by an untargeted one,” Donnelly says. “A hospital worker using an EMR [electronic medical record]... Googles a patient’s condition and gets ransomware,” for example.

The Angler, Neutrino, Magnitude, RIG, and Nuclear exploit kits spread the Flash CVE 2015-7645 exploit; Angler spreads Flash 2015-8446; Angler and Neutrino spread Flash CVE 2015-8651; and Angler spreads Silverlight CVE-2016-0034, an exploit exposed in the Hacking Team breach.

In addition to patching these four vulns, Recorded Future offers additional recommendations for thwarting ransomware attacks: set Flash to “click to play;” run browser ad-blockers to protect against malvertising-borne attacks; and perform regular backups, especially of shared files, which are often the target of ransomware attacks.

“If you don’t make the decision to keep backups offline when you’re hit, you have a binary decision: either pay the ransom or lose the data,” says Levi Gundert, director of intelligence strategies at Recorded Future.

Meanwhile, ransomware victim counts are likely more widespread than is publicly known. “So many companies don’t publicize that they’ve been hit” by ransomware, Donnelly says.

Related Content:

Interop 2016 Las VegasFind out more about ransomware at Interop 2016, May 2-6, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas. Register today and receive an early bird discount of $200.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 12:01:51 PM
Down with Flash
InfoSec professionals agree, and its time industry acted.  Flash should be gone.  It should be banned.  It should be expunged.  (For goodness sakes, we have HTML5 now!)  There is no excuse anymore.

(Or, as The Register once put it: Flash apologists are "the antivaxxers of the Internet".)
DarwinC123
50%
50%
DarwinC123,
User Rank: Strategist
3/24/2016 | 12:31:18 PM
Re: Down with Flash
I totally agree with your post. I presently have flash since it is required with the kronos timekeeping workforce application. It also requires Java. ; (
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2016 | 7:58:17 PM
Re: Down with Flash
"It also requires Java."

Wow.  Double-whammy.  :/

Java has been found to have more vulnerabilities than Flash, actually -- but, on the whole, they lack the severity of Flash vulnerabilities.
komeara26
50%
50%
komeara26,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2016 | 9:19:34 PM
Exploit Kits and CVE-2015-8651
Just a litle information to add....CVE-2015-8651 has also been packaged in Nuclear Pack Exploit Kit and Magnitude Exploit Kit.
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18954
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Pomelo v2.2.5 allows external control of critical state data. A malicious user input can corrupt arbitrary methods and attributes in template/game-server/app/servers/connector/handler/entryHandler.js because certain internal attributes can be overwritten via a conflicting name. Hence, a malicious at...
CVE-2019-3640
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Unprotected Transport of Credentials in ePO extension in McAfee Data Loss Prevention 11.x prior to 11.4.0 allows remote attackers with access to the network to collect login details to the LDAP server via the ePO extension not using a secure connection when testing LDAP connectivity.
CVE-2019-3661
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command ('SQL Injection') in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows remote authenticated attacker to execute database commands via carefully constructed time based payloads.
CVE-2019-3662
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Path Traversal: '/absolute/pathname/here' vulnerability in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows remote authenticated attacker to gain unintended access to files on the system via carefully constructed HTTP requests.
CVE-2019-3663
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Unprotected Storage of Credentials vulnerability in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows local attacker to gain access to the root password via accessing sensitive files on the system.