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The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: Microsoft Word

GandCrab ransomware and Ursnif virus spreading via MS Word macros

GandCrab ransomware and Ursnif virus spreading via MS Word macros

January 25, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered two separate malware campaigns, one of which is distributing the Ursnif data-stealing trojan and the GandCrab ransomware in the wild, whereas the second one is only infecting victims with Ursnif malware. Though both malware campaigns appear to be a work of two separate cybercriminal groups, we find many similarities in them. Both attacks start from phishing emails containing an attached Microsoft Word document embedded with malicious macros and then uses Powershell to deliver fileless malware. Ursnif is a data-stealing malware that typically steals sensitive information from compromised computers with an ability to harvest banking credentials, browsing activities, collect keystrokes, system and process information, and deploy additional backdoors. Discovered earlier last year, GandCrab is a widespread ransomware threat that, like every other ransomware in the market, encrypts files on an infected system and insists victims to pay a ransom
3 New Code Execution Flaws Discovered in Atlantis Word Processor

3 New Code Execution Flaws Discovered in Atlantis Word Processor

November 20, 2018Mohit Kumar
This is why you should always think twice before opening innocent looking email attachments, especially word and pdf files. Cybersecurity researchers at Cisco Talos have once again discovered multiple critical security vulnerabilities in the Atlantis Word Processor that allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and take over affected computers. An alternative to Microsoft Word, Atlantis Word Processor is a fast-loading word processor application that allows users to create, read and edit word documents effortlessly. It can also be used to convert TXT, RTF, ODT, DOC, WRI, or DOCX documents to ePub. Just 50 days after disclosing 8 code execution vulnerabilities in previous versions of Atlantis Word Processor, Talos team today revealed details and proof-of-concept exploits for 3 more remote code execution vulnerabilities in the application. All the three vulnerabilities, listed below, allow attackers to corrupt the application's memory and execute arbitrary code und
Unpatched MS Word Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Infect Your Computer

Unpatched MS Word Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Infect Your Computer

October 30, 2018Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers have revealed an unpatched logical flaw in Microsoft Office 2016 and older versions that could allow an attacker to embed malicious code inside a document file, tricking users into running malware onto their computers. Discovered by researchers at Cymulate, the bug abuses the ' Online Video ' option in Word documents, a feature that allows users to embedded an online video with a link to YouTube, as shown. When a user adds an online video link to an MS Word document, the Online Video feature automatically generates an HTML embed script, which is executed when the thumbnail inside the document is clicked by the viewer. Researchers decided to go public with their findings three months after Microsoft refused to acknowledge the reported issue as a security vulnerability. How Does the New MS Word Attack Works? Since the Word Doc files (.docx) are actually zip packages of its media and configuration files, it can easily be opened and edited. Acco
Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks

Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks

October 20, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A newly discovered unpatched attacking method that exploits a built-in feature of Microsoft Office is currently being used in various widespread malware attack campaigns. Last week we reported how hackers could leveraging an old Microsoft Office feature called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), to perform malicious code execution on the targeted device without requiring Macros enabled or memory corruption. DDE protocol is one of the several methods that Microsoft uses to allow two running applications to share the same data. The protocol is being used by thousands of apps, including MS Excel, MS Word, Quattro Pro, and Visual Basic for one-time data transfers and for continuous exchanges for sending updates to one another. The DDE exploitation technique displays no "security" warnings to victims, except asking them if they want to execute the application specified in the command—although this popup alert could also be eliminated "with proper syntax modification.&quo
Beware! This Microsoft PowerPoint Hack Installs Malware Without Requiring Macros

Beware! This Microsoft PowerPoint Hack Installs Malware Without Requiring Macros

June 07, 2017Mohit Kumar
" Disable macros and always be extra careful when you manually enable it while opening Microsoft Office Word documents. " You might have heard of above-mentioned security warning multiple times on the Internet as hackers usually leverage this decade old macros-based hacking technique to hack computers through specially crafted Microsoft Office files, particularly Word, attached to spam emails. But a new social engineering attack has been discovered in the wild, which doesn't require users to enable macros ; instead it executes malware on a targeted system using PowerShell commands embedded inside a PowerPoint (PPT) file. Moreover, the malicious PowerShell code hidden inside the document triggers as soon as the victim moves/hovers a mouse over a link (as shown), which downloads an additional payload on the compromised machine -- even without clicking it. Researchers at Security firm SentinelOne have discovered that a group of hackers is using malicious PowerPoi
Botnet Sending 5 Million Emails Per Hour to Spread Jaff Ransomware

Botnet Sending 5 Million Emails Per Hour to Spread Jaff Ransomware

May 12, 2017Mohit Kumar
A massive malicious email campaign that stems from the Necurs botnet is spreading a new ransomware at the rate of 5 million emails per hour and hitting computers across the globe. Dubbed "Jaff," the new file-encrypting ransomware is very similar to the infamous Locky ransomware in many ways, but it is demanding 1.79 Bitcoins (approx $3,150), which much higher than Locky, to unlock the encrypted files on an infected computer. According to security researchers at Forcepoint Security Lab, Jaff ransomware, written in C programming language, is being distributed with the help of Necurs botnet that currently controls over 6 million infected computers worldwide. Necurs botnet is sending emails to millions of users with an attached PDF document, which if clicked, opens up an embedded Word document with a malicious macro script to downloads and execute the Jaff ransomware, Malwarebytes says . Jaff is Spreading at the Rate of 5 Million per Hour The malicious email camp
Source Code for CIA’s Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks

Source Code for CIA’s Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks

April 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Wikileaks has just published a new batch of the Vault 7 leak, exposing the documentation and source code for a CIA project known as "Scribbles." Scribbles, a.k.a. the "Snowden Stopper," is a piece of software allegedly designed to embed 'web beacon' tags into confidential documents, allowing the spying agency to track whistleblowers and foreign spies. Since March, as part of its "Vault 7" series, the Whistleblowing website has published thousands of documents and other confidential information that the whistleblower group claims came from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA itself described Scribbles as a "batch processing tool for pre-generating watermarks and inserting those watermarks into documents that are apparently being stolen by FIO (foreign intelligence officers) actors." Here's How Scribbles Tool Works: Scribbles is coded in C# programming language and generates a random watermark for each docu
Not Just Criminals, But Governments Were Also Using MS Word 0-Day Exploit

Not Just Criminals, But Governments Were Also Using MS Word 0-Day Exploit

April 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Recently we reported about a critical code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Word that was being exploited in the wild by cyber criminal groups to distribute malware like Dridex banking trojans and Latentbot. Now, it turns out that the same previously undisclosed vulnerability in Word (CVE-2017-0199) was also actively being exploited by the government-sponsored hackers to spy on Russian targets since at least this January. The news comes after security firm FireEye, that independently discovered this flaw last month, published a blog post , revealing that FinSpy spyware was installed as early as January using the same vulnerability in Word that was patched on Tuesday by Microsoft. For those unaware, the vulnerability (CVE-2017-0199) is a code execution flaw in Word that could allow an attacker to take over a fully patched and up to date computer when the victim opens a Word document containing a booby-trapped OLE2link object, which downloads a malicious HTML app from a
Microsoft Issues Patches for Actively Exploited Critical Vulnerabilities

Microsoft Issues Patches for Actively Exploited Critical Vulnerabilities

April 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Besides a previously undisclosed code-execution flaw in Microsoft Word, the tech giant patches two more zero-day vulnerabilities that attackers had been exploiting in the wild for months, as part of this month's Patch Tuesday . In total, Microsoft patches 45 unique vulnerabilities in its nine products, including three previously undisclosed vulnerabilities under active attack. The first vulnerability ( CVE-2017-0199 ) under attack is a remote-code execution flaw that could allow an attacker to remotely take over a fully patched and up to date computer when the victim opens a Word document containing a booby-trapped OLE2link object. The attack can bypass most exploit mitigations developed by Microsoft, and according to Ryan Hanson of security firm Optiv, in some cases, exploits can execute malicious code even when Protected View is enabled. As The Hacker News reported Monday, this code-execution flaw in Microsoft Word was being exploited by hackers to spread a version
Unpatched Microsoft Word Flaw is Being Used to Spread Dridex Banking Trojan

Unpatched Microsoft Word Flaw is Being Used to Spread Dridex Banking Trojan

April 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you are a regular reader of The Hacker News, you might be aware of an ongoing cyber attack — detected in the wild by McAfee and FireEye — that silently installs malware on fully-patched computers by exploiting an unpatched Microsoft Word vulnerability in all current versions of Microsoft Office. Now, according to security firm Proofpoint, the operators of the Dridex malware started exploiting the unpatched Microsoft Word vulnerability to spread a version of their infamous Dridex banking trojan . Dridex is currently one of the most dangerous banking trojans on the Internet that exhibits the typical behavior of monitoring a victim's traffic to bank sites by infiltrating PCs and stealing victim's online banking credentials and financial data. The Dridex actors usually relied on macro-laden Word files to distribute the malware through spam messages or emails. However, this is the first time when researchers found the Dridex operators using an unpatched zero-day flaw
Beware of an Unpatched Microsoft Word 0-Day Flaw being Exploited in the Wild

Beware of an Unpatched Microsoft Word 0-Day Flaw being Exploited in the Wild

April 09, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It's 2017, and opening a simple MS Word file could compromise your system. Security researchers are warning of a new in-the-wild attack that silently installs malware on fully-patched computers by exploiting a serious — and yet unpatched — zero-day vulnerability in all current versions of Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office zero-day attack, uncovered by researchers from security firms McAfee and FireEye, starts simply with an email that attaches a malicious Word file containing a booby-trapped OLE2link object. When opened, the exploit code gets executed and makes a connection to a remote server controlled by the attacker, from where it downloads a malicious HTML application file (HTA) that's disguised as a document created in Microsoft's RTF (Rich Text Format). The HTA file then gets executed automatically with attackers gaining full code execution on the victim’s machine, downloading additional payloads from "different well-known malware families"
Microsoft Critical Vulnerabilities that You Must Patch Coming Tuesday

Microsoft Critical Vulnerabilities that You Must Patch Coming Tuesday

April 05, 2014Anonymous
On passed Thursday, Microsoft has released an advance advisory alert for upcoming Patch Tuesday which will address Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities in several Microsoft’s products. Microsoft came across a limited targeted attacks directed at their Microsoft Word 2010 because of the vulnerability in the older versions of Microsoft Word. This Tuesday Microsoft will release Security Updates to address four major vulnerabilities, out of which two are labeled as critical and remaining two are Important to patch as the flaws are affecting various Microsoft software such as, Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft web apps, Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer etc. VULNERABILITY THAT YOU  MUST PATCH Google Security Team has reported a critical Remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2010 ( CVE-2014-1761 ) which could be exploited by an attacker to execute the malicious code remotely via a specially crafted RTF file , if opened by a user with an affected vers
Microsoft Word Zero-Day Vulnerability is being exploited in the Wild

Microsoft Word Zero-Day Vulnerability is being exploited in the Wild

March 25, 2014Mohit Kumar
Microsoft warned about a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word that is being actively exploited in targeted attacks and discovered by the Google security team. “ At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010… ” company said. According to Microsoft's security advisory , Microsoft Word is vulnerable to  a remote code execution vulnerability ( CVE-2014-1761 ) that can be exploited by a specially crafted Rich Text Format (RTF). An Attacker can simply infect the victim's system with malware if a user opens a malicious Rich Text Format (RTF), or merely preview the message in Microsoft Outlook. " The issue is caused when Microsoft Word parses specially crafted RTF-formatted data causing system memory to become corrupted in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code. " Microsoft acknowledged that remote code execution flaw also exists in Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, 2013, Word Viewer and Office for Mac 2011. Micr
Japanese word processor 'Ichitaro' zero-day attack discovered in the wild

Japanese word processor 'Ichitaro' zero-day attack discovered in the wild

November 15, 2013Mohit Kumar
Japanese most popular word processing software ' Ichitaro ' and Multiple Products are vulnerable to a zero day Remote Code Execution Flaw Vulnerability, allowing the execution of arbitrary code to compromise a user's system. According to assigned CVE-2013-5990 ,  malicious attacker is able to gain system access and execute arbitrary code with the privileges of a local user. The vulnerability is caused due to an unspecified error when handling certain document files. " We confirm the existence of vulnerabilities in some of our products. " company blog says. In a blog post, Antivirus Firm Symantec confirmed that in September 2013, they have discovered attacks in the wild attempting to exploit this vulnerability during, detected as  Trojan.Mdropper , which is a variant of  Backdoor.Vidgrab . Researchers mentioned that  Backdoor.Vidgrab variant was used as a payload for a watering hole attack exploiting the Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory
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