#1 Trusted Cybersecurity News Platform Followed by 4.50+ million
The Hacker News Logo
Get the Free Newsletter
SaaS Security

windows hacking | Breaking Cybersecurity News | The Hacker News

MS Office Built-in Feature Allows Malware Execution Without Macros Enabled

MS Office Built-in Feature Allows Malware Execution Without Macros Enabled
Oct 12, 2017
Since new forms of cybercrime are on the rise, traditional techniques seem to be shifting towards more clandestine that involve the exploitation of standard system tools and protocols, which are not always monitored. Security researchers at Cisco's Talos threat research group have discovered one such attack campaign spreading malware-equipped Microsoft Word documents that perform code execution on the targeted device without requiring Macros enabled or memory corruption. This Macro-less code execution in MSWord technique, described in detail on Monday by a pair of security researchers from Sensepost, Etienne Stalmans and Saif El-Sherei, which leverages a built-in feature of MS Office, called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), to perform code execution. Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) protocol is one of the several methods that Microsoft allows two running applications to share the same data. The protocol can be used by applications for one-time data transfers and for continuous exc

CowerSnail — Windows Backdoor from the Creators of SambaCry Linux Malware

CowerSnail — Windows Backdoor from the Creators of SambaCry Linux Malware
Jul 27, 2017
Last month, we reported about a group of hackers exploiting SambaCry —a 7-year-old critical remote code execution vulnerability in Samba networking software—to hack Linux computers and install malware to mine cryptocurrencies. The same group of hackers is now targeting Windows machines with a new backdoor, which is a QT-based re-compiled version of the same malware used to target Linux. Dubbed CowerSnail , detected by security researchers at Kaspersky Labs as Backdoor.Win32.CowerSnail, is a fully-featured windows backdoor that allows its creators to remotely execute any commands on the infected systems. Wondering how these two separate campaigns are connected? Interestingly, the CowerSnail backdoor uses the same command and control (C&C) server as the malware that was used to infect Linux machines to mine cryptocurrency last month by exploiting the then-recently exposed SambaCry vulnerability. Common C&C Server Location — cl.ezreal.space:20480 SambaCry vulnerabi

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024
Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl

Critical Flaws Found in Windows NTLM Security Protocol – Patch Now

Critical Flaws Found in Windows NTLM Security Protocol – Patch Now
Jul 12, 2017
As part of this month's Patch Tuesday , Microsoft has released security patches for a serious privilege escalation vulnerability which affect all versions of its Windows operating system for enterprises released since 2007. Researchers at behavioral firewall specialist Preempt discovered two zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows NTLM security protocols, both of which allow attackers to create a new domain administrator account and get control of the entire domain. NT LAN Manager (NTLM) is an old authentication protocol used on networks that include systems running the Windows operating system and stand-alone systems. Although NTLM was replaced by Kerberos in Windows 2000 that adds greater security to systems on a network, NTLM is still supported by Microsoft and continues to be used widely. The first vulnerability involves unprotected Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) from NTLM relay, and the second impact Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Restricted-Admin mode. L

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

cyber security
websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.

Original Author of Petya Ransomware is Back & He Wants to Help NotPetya Victims

Original Author of Petya Ransomware is Back & He Wants to Help NotPetya Victims
Jun 29, 2017
The author of original Petya ransomware is back. After 6 months of silence, the author of the now infamous Petya ransomware appeared today on Twitter to help victims unlock their files encrypted by a new version of Petya, also known as NotPetya . "We're back having a look in NotPetya," tweeted Janus, a name Petya creator previously chose for himself from a villain in James Bond. "Maybe it's crackable with our privkey. Please upload the first 1MB of an infected device, that would help." This statement made by the Petya author suggests he may have held onto a master decryption key , which if it works for the new variant of Petya infected files, the victims would be able to decrypt their files locked in the recent cyber outcry. Janus sold Petya as a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) to other hackers in March 2016, and like any regular ransomware, original Petya was designed to lock victim's computer, then return them when a ransom is paid. This

Microsoft Releases Patches for 3 Remaining NSA Windows Exploits

Microsoft Releases Patches for 3 Remaining NSA Windows Exploits
Jun 14, 2017
Did you know… last month's widespread WannaCry ransomware attack forced Microsoft to release security updates against EternalBlue SMB exploit for unsupported versions of Windows, but the company left other three Windows zero-day exploits unpatched? For those unaware, EternalBlue is a Windows SMB flaw that was leaked by the Shadow Brokers in April and then abused by the WannaCry ransomware to infect nearly 300,000 computers in more than 150 countries within just 72 hours on 12th of May. Shortly after WannaCry outbreak, we reported that three unpatched Windows exploits , codenamed " EsteemAudit, " " ExplodingCan ," and " EnglishmanDentist ," were also being exploited by individuals and state-sponsored hackers in the wild. Specially EsteemAudit , one of the dangerous Windows hacking tool that targets remote desktop protocol (RDP) service on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP machines, while ExplodingCan exploits bugs in IIS 6.0 and E

Newly Found Malware Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools, Where WannaCry Uses 2

Newly Found Malware Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools, Where WannaCry Uses 2
May 22, 2017
A security researcher has identified a new strain of malware that also spreads itself by exploiting flaws in Windows SMB file sharing protocol, but unlike the WannaCry Ransomware that uses only two leaked NSA hacking tools , it exploits all the seven. Last week, we warned you about multiple hacking groups exploiting leaked NSA hacking tools, but almost all of them were making use of only two tools: EternalBlue and DoublePulsar. Now, Miroslav Stampar, a security researcher who created famous 'sqlmap' tool and now a member of the Croatian Government CERT, has discovered a new network worm, dubbed EternalRocks , which is more dangerous than WannaCry and has no kill-switch in it. Unlike WannaCry, EternalRocks seems to be designed to function secretly in order to ensure that it remains undetectable on the affected system. However, Stampar learned of EternalRocks after it infected his SMB honeypot . The NSA exploits used by EternalRocks, which Stampar called " Do

More Hacking Groups Found Exploiting SMB Flaw Weeks Before WannaCry

More Hacking Groups Found Exploiting SMB Flaw Weeks Before WannaCry
May 19, 2017
Since the Shadow Brokers released the zero-day software vulnerabilities and hacking tools – allegedly belonged to the NSA's elite hacking team Equation Group – several hacking groups and individual hackers have started using them in their own way. The April's data dump was believed to be the most damaging release by the Shadow Brokers till the date, as it publicly leaked lots of Windows hacking tools , including dangerous Windows SMB exploit. After the outbreak of WannaCry last week, security researchers have identified multiple different campaigns exploiting Windows SMB vulnerability (CVE-2017-0143), called Eternalblue , which has already compromised hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. I have been even confirmed by multiple sources in hacking and intelligence community that there are lots of groups and individuals who are actively exploiting Eternalblue for different motives. Moreover, the Eternalblue SMB exploit ( MS17-010 ) has now been ported to  Met

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows
May 19, 2017
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , detailing a spyware framework – which "provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers" – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10. Dubbed Athena/Hera , the spyware has been designed to take full control over the infected Windows PCs remotely, allowing the agency to perform all sorts of things on the target machine, including deleting data or uploading malicious software, and stealing data and send them to CIA server. The leak, which includes a user manual of Athena, overview of the technology, and demonstration on how to use this spyware, reveals that the program has two implications: Primary: Athena for XP to Windows 10  Secondary: Hera for Windows 8 through Windows 10 According to the whistleblower organization, Athena has the ability to allow the CIA agents to modify its co

WannaCry Ransomware That's Hitting World Right Now Uses NSA Windows Exploit

WannaCry Ransomware That's Hitting World Right Now Uses NSA Windows Exploit
May 12, 2017
Update —  After reading this article, if you want to know, what has happened so far in past 4 days and how to protect your computers from WannaCry, read our latest article " WannaCry Ransomware: Everything You Need To Know Immediately . "  Earlier today, a massive ransomware campaign hit computer systems of hundreds of private companies and public organizations across the globe – which is believed to be the most massive ransomware delivery campaign to date. The Ransomware in question has been identified as a variant of ransomware known as WannaCry (also known as 'Wana Decrypt0r,' 'WannaCryptor' or 'WCRY'). Like other nasty ransomware variants, WannaCry also blocks access to a computer or its files and demands money to unlock it. Once infected with the WannaCry ransomware, victims are asked to pay up to $300 in order to remove the infection from their PCs; otherwise, their PCs render unusable, and their files remain locked. In separate ne

Stolen NSA "Windows Hacking Tools" Now Up For Sale!

Stolen NSA "Windows Hacking Tools" Now Up For Sale!
Jan 10, 2017
The Shadow Brokers who previously stole and leaked a portion of the NSA hacking tools and exploits is back with a Bang! The hacking group is now selling another package of hacking tools, " Equation Group Windows Warez ," which includes Windows exploits and antivirus bypass tools, stolen from the NSA-linked hacking unit, The Equation Group. For those unfamiliar with the topic, The Shadow Brokers is a notorious group of black-hat hackers who, in August 2016, leaked exploits, security vulnerabilities, and "powerful espionage tools" created by The Equation Group. On Saturday, the Shadow Brokers posted a message on their ZeroNet based website, announcing the sale of the entire " Windows Warez " collection for 750 Bitcoin (around US$678,630). The data dump contains many windows hacking tools, categorized as following: Fuzzing tools (used to discover errors and security loopholes) Exploit Framework Network Implants Remote Administration Tools (RAT) Remot

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers
Sep 08, 2016
Unlike specially crafted malware specifically developed to take advantage of Windows operating system platform, cyber attackers have started creating cross-platform malware for wider exploitation. Due to the rise in popularity of Mac OS X and other Windows desktop alternatives, hackers have begun designing cross-platform malware modularly for wide distribution. Cross-platform malware is loaded with specialized payloads and components, allowing it to run on multiple platforms. One such malware family has recently been discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, which run on all the key operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Stefan Ortloff, a researcher from Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team, first discovered the Linux and Windows variants of this family of cross-platform backdoor, dubbed Mokes , in January this year. Now, the researcher today confirmed the existence of an OS X variant of this malware family, explaining a technical breakd

Oops! Microsoft Accidentally Leaks Backdoor Keys to Bypass UEFI Secure Boot

Oops! Microsoft Accidentally Leaks Backdoor Keys to Bypass UEFI Secure Boot
Aug 10, 2016
It's True  —  There is no such backdoor that only its creator can access. Microsoft has accidentally leaked the Secret keys that allow hackers to unlock devices protected by UEFI ( Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ) Secure Boot feature. What's even worse? It will be impossible for Microsoft to undo its leak. Secure Boot is a security feature that protects your device from certain types of malware, such as a rootkit, which can hijack your system bootloader, as well as, Secure Boot restricts you from running any non-Microsoft operating system on your device. In other words, when Secure Boot is enabled, you will only be able to boot Microsoft approved ( cryptographically signature checking ) operating systems. However, the Golden Keys disclosed by two security researchers, using alias MY123 and Slipstream , can be used to install non-Windows operating systems, say GNU/Linux or Android, on the devices protected by Secure Boot. Moreover, according to the blog pos

Badlock — Unpatched Windows-Samba Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Windows

Badlock — Unpatched Windows-Samba Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Windows
Mar 23, 2016
Security researchers have discovered a nasty security vulnerability that is said to affect almost every version of Windows and Samba and will be patched on April 12, 2016, the Samba development team announced Tuesday. So, Save the Date if you are a Windows or Samba file server administrator. Samba is a free, open source implementation of the SMB/CIFS network file sharing protocol that runs on the majority of operating systems available today, including Windows, UNIX, Linux, IBM System 390, and OpenVMS. Samba allows non-Windows operating systems, like GNU/Linux or Mac OS X, to communicate with the same networking protocol as the Windows products, thus enabling users to access network shared folders and files from Windows OS. Dubbed Badlock , the vulnerability has been discovered by Stefan Metzmacher, a developer of Samba Core Team. Details about the Badlock vulnerability will be disclosed on April 12, when the developers of Microsoft and Samba release security p

Patch Report: All Versions of Windows affected by Critical Vulnerability

Patch Report: All Versions of Windows affected by Critical Vulnerability
Oct 14, 2015
Microsoft has rolled out six security updates this Patch Tuesday , out of which three are considered to be " critical, " while the rest are marked as " important. " Bulletin MS15-106 is considered to be critical for Internet Explorer (IE) and affects absolutely all versions of Windows operating system. The update addresses a flaw in the way IE handles objects in memory. The flaw could be exploited to gain access to an affected system, allowing hackers to gain the same access rights as the logged-in user. A hacker could " take advantage of compromised websites, and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements ," the advisory states. " These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit the vulnerabilities. " Therefore, the dependency here is that an IE user must knowingly click on the malicious link, which then be leveraged by an attacker to get the full control over a computer t

Samba Service Hit By Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Samba Service Hit By Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
Feb 24, 2015
A critical vulnerability has been fixed in Samba — Open Source standard Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux and Unix, that could have allowed hackers to remotely execute an arbitrary code in the Samba daemon ( smbd ). Samba is an open source implementation of the SMB/CIFS network file sharing protocol that works on the majority of operating systems available today, which allows a non-Windows server to communicate with the same networking protocol as the Windows products. Samba is supported by many operating systems including Windows 95/98/NT, OS/2, and Linux. smbd is the server daemon of Samba which provides file sharing and printing services to clients using the SMB/CIFS protocol. Samba is also sometimes installed as a component of *BSD and OS X systems. The vulnerability, designated as CVE-2015-0240 , actually resides in this smbd file server daemon. The bug can be exploited by hackers to potentially execute code remotely with root privileges, the

15-Year-Old JasBug Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Microsoft Windows

15-Year-Old JasBug Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Microsoft Windows
Feb 11, 2015
Microsoft just issued a critical patch to fix a 15-year-old vulnerability that could be exploited by hackers to remotely hijack users' PCs running all supported versions of Windows operating system . The critical vulnerability — named " JASBUG " by the researcher who reported the flaw — is due to a flaw in the fundamental design of Windows that took Microsoft more than 12 months to release a fix. However, the flaw is still unpatched in Windows Server 2003, leaving the version wide open to the hackers for the remaining five months. HACKERS CAN EASILY HIJACK YOUR WINDOWS MACHINE The vulnerability ( CVE-2015-0008 ) could allow an attacker to easily hijack a domain-configured Windows system if it is connected to a malicious network – wirelessly or wired, giving attacker consent to do various tasks including, to go forth and install programs; delete, alter or peruse users' data; or to create new accounts with full user rights. However, Jasbug vulnerability do not affects h

New Variant of Emotet Banking Malware targets German Users

New Variant of Emotet Banking Malware targets German Users
Jan 07, 2015
A new Spam email campaign making the rounds in Germany are delivering a new variant of a powerful banking malware , a financial threat designed to steal users' online banking credentials, according to security researchers from Microsoft. The malware, identified as Emotet , was first spotted last June by security vendors at Trend Micro. The most standout features of Emotet is its network sniffing ability , which enables it to capture data sent over secured HTTPS connections by hooking into eight network APIs, according to Trend Micro. Microsoft has been monitoring a new variant of Emotet banking malware , Trojan:Win32/Emotet.C , since November last year. This new variant was sent out as part of a spam email campaign that peaked in November. Emotet has been distributed through spam messages, which either contain a link to a website hosting the malware or a PDF document icon that is actually the malware. HeungSoo Kang of Microsoft's Malware Protection Center identifi

Microsoft Fixes Faulty Patch Update that Caused Windows 'Blue Screens of Death'

Microsoft Fixes Faulty Patch Update that Caused Windows 'Blue Screens of Death'
Aug 28, 2014
Microsoft today reissued a security update for Windows to the faulty update that previously caused PCs to suffer Blue Screens of Death (BSoD) . The new security update comes almost two weeks after reports emerged that the dodgy update crippled users' computers with the infamous "Blue Screens of Death." The company later advised people to uninstall the update, but now it has fixed the issue. " This month we had our first roll out with additional non-security updates. A small number of customers experienced problems with a few of the updates ," Tracey Pretorius, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, wrote in a blog post .   " As soon as we became aware of some problems, we began a review and then immediately pulled the problematic updates, making these available to download. We then began working on a plan to re-release the affected updates." The offending Microsoft patch identified as MS14-045 , fixes Windows kernel vulnerabilities in 47 of Micro
Cybersecurity Resources