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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: windows security

First-Ever Data Stealing Malware Found Using Intel AMT Tool to Bypass Firewall

First-Ever Data Stealing Malware Found Using Intel AMT Tool to Bypass Firewall

June 09, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It's not hard for a well-funded state-sponsored hacking group to break into corporate networks and compromise systems with malware, but what's challenging for them is to keep that backdoor and its communication undetectable from a firewall and other network monitoring applications. However, a cyber-espionage group known as " Platinum ," that is actively targeting governmental organisations, defense institutes, and telecommunication providers since at least 2009, has found a way to hide its malicious activities from host-based protection mechanisms. Microsoft has recently discovered that the cyber-espionage group is now leveraging Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) Serial-over-LAN (SOL) channel as a file-transfer tool to steal data from the targeted computers without detection. Intel-based chip sets come with an embedded technology, called AMT, which is designed to allow IT administrators to remotely manage and repair PCs, workstations, and serve
Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10

Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10

June 07, 2017Mohit Kumar
Russian antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab is so upset with US software giant Microsoft that the security firm has filed more antitrust complaints against the company. The antivirus firm initially filed a lawsuit late last year against Microsoft with Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) over alleged abuse of Microsoft's dominant position in the desktop market to push its own antivirus software with Windows 10 and unfair competition in the market. Microsoft ships Windows 10 with its own security software Windows Defender, which comes enabled it by default with the operating system. While Microsoft has made some changes in Windows Defender since the initial complaint, Kaspersky Lab is not satisfied with the changes, filing more antitrust complaints against the software giant, this time with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfair Competitive Practices The antivirus firm told European antitrust regulators that Mi
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
Windows SMB Zero-Day Exploit Released in the Wild after Microsoft delayed the Patch

Windows SMB Zero-Day Exploit Released in the Wild after Microsoft delayed the Patch

February 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last weekend a security researcher publically disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Server editions after Microsoft failed to patch it in the past three months. The zero-day memory corruption flaw resides in the implementation of the SMB (server message block) network file sharing protocol that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to crash systems with denial of service attack, which would then open them to more possible attacks. According to US-CERT, the vulnerability could also be exploited to execute arbitrary code with Windows kernel privileges on vulnerable systems, but this has not been confirmed right now by Microsoft. Without revealing the actual scope of the vulnerability and the kind of threat the exploit poses, Microsoft has just downplayed the severity of the issue, saying: "Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues, and proactively update impacted devices as soon as
MBRFilter — Open Source Tool to Protect Against 'Master Boot Record' Malware

MBRFilter — Open Source Tool to Protect Against 'Master Boot Record' Malware

October 20, 2016Mohit Kumar
Ransomware threat has risen exponentially so much that ransomware authors have started abusing the MBR in their attacks to lock down your entire computer instead of just encrypting your important files on hard drive. Talos team at Cisco Systems has released a free, open-source tool that protects the master boot record (MBR) sector of computers from modification by bootkits, ransomware, and other malicious attacks. Master Boot Record (MBR) is the first sector (512 bytes) on your Hard drive that stores the bootloader, a piece of code that is responsible for booting the current Operating System. Technically, Bootloader is first code that gets executed after system BIOS that tells your computer what to do when it start. An advanced malware program, such as rootkit and bootkit, leverages this process to infect computers by modifying the MBR. A boot malware or bootkits has the ability to install ransomware or other malicious software into your Windows kernel, which is almost i
Microsoft Patches 5 Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Being Exploited in the Wild

Microsoft Patches 5 Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Being Exploited in the Wild

October 12, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft has released its monthly Patch Tuesday update including a total of 10 security bulletin, and you are required to apply the whole package of patches altogether, whether you like it or not. That's because the company is kicking off a controversial new all-or-nothing patch model this month by packaging all security updates into a single payload, removing your ability to pick and choose which individual patches to install. October's patch bundle includes fixes for at least 5 separate dangerous zero-day vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Edge, Windows and Office products that attackers were already exploiting in the wild before the patch release. The patches for these zero-day flaws are included in MS16-118, MS16-119, MS16-120, MS16-121 and MS16-126. All the zero-days are being exploited in the wild, allowing attackers to execute a remote command on victim's system. Although none of the zero-day flaws were publicly disclosed prior to Tuesday, the company wa
Hackers Selling Unpatched Microsoft Windows Zero-Day Exploit for $90,000

Hackers Selling Unpatched Microsoft Windows Zero-Day Exploit for $90,000

June 03, 2016Swati Khandelwal
How much a Windows zero-day exploit that affects all versions of Windows operating system costs on the black market? It's $95,000, at least, for the one recently spotted by security researchers. Researchers from Trustwave's SpiderLabs team have uncovered a zero-day exploit on Russian underground malware forum exploit.in, affecting all versions of Microsoft Windows OS from Windows 2000 all the way up to a fully patched version of Windows 10. The zero-day exploit for the previously unknown vulnerability in " every version " of Windows is openly sold for $90,000 ( over £62,000 ). The security team originally discovered the zero-day exploit last month when the firm saw its ad on a Russian hacking forum for $95,000. However, the price has now been dropped to $90,000. The zero-day vulnerability in question claims to be a Local Privilege Escalation (LPE) bug in Windows that offers admin access to run malicious code on a victim's PC and is less dangerous th
Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Gets QR Code

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Gets QR Code

April 13, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you are a Microsoft's Windows user, you may have encountered the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) . The Blue Screen of Death generally appears when Windows encounters any critical error due to software or hardware issues, displaying a sad face and no information other than "Your PC ran into a problem." However, now the company is apparently giving its infamous Blue Screen of Death a makeover. With the Microsoft's Anniversary Update, the company is making the Blue Screen of Death a little helpful for its users. Microsoft is adding QR code to its Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows 10 that will make it easier for users to identify potential issues with their devices. The new QR codes are featured in the Redmond's latest Windows 10 Preview, Build 14316, which will debut this summer as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Must Read:   Step-by-Step Tutorial to Run Ubuntu on latest Windows 10 Preview Build . Now, when your operating
Enable this New Setting to Secure your Computer from Macro-based Malware

Enable this New Setting to Secure your Computer from Macro-based Malware

March 31, 2016Unknown
Do you deal with MS Word files on the daily basis? If yes, then are you aware that even opening a simple doc file could compromise your system? It is a matter to think that the virus does not directly affect you, but it is you who let the virus carry out the attack by enabling deadly "Macros" to view the doc contents that are generally on eye-catching subjects like bank invoice. How Macros are Crippling your System? The concept of Macros dates back to 1990s. You must be familiar with this message: " Warning: This document contains macros. " A Macro is a series of commands and actions that help to automate some tasks. Microsoft Office programs support Macros written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), but they can also be used for malicious activities like installing malware. Hackers are cleverly using this technique on the shade of social engineering by sending the malicious Macros through doc file or spreadsheet with an eye-catching subject in t
How Just Opening an MS Word Doc Can Hijack Every File On Your System

How Just Opening an MS Word Doc Can Hijack Every File On Your System

February 19, 2016Unknown
If you receive a mail masquerading as a company's invoice and containing a Microsoft Word file, think twice before clicking on it. Doing so could cripple your system and could lead to a catastrophic destruction. Hackers are believed to be carrying out social engineering hoaxes by adopting eye-catching subjects in the spam emails and compromised websites to lure the victims into installing a deadly ransomware, dubbed " Locky ," into their systems. So if you find .locky extension files on your network shares, Congratulations! You are infected and left with just two solutions: Rebuild your PC from scratch or Pay the ransom. Locky ransomware is spreading at the rate of 4000 new infections per hour , which means approximately 100,000 new infections per day . Microsoft MACROS are Back It is hard to digest the fact that, in this 2016, even a single MS Word document could compromise your system by enabling ' Macros .' This is where the poin
How to Activate GodMode in Windows 10

How to Activate GodMode in Windows 10

October 07, 2015Khyati Jain
Microsoft's Windows 10 , the latest version of Windows Operating System, has been creating waves since it rolled out, and reached to 110 million devices within just 2 months. If you are a long-time Windows user, you may remember a trick called, ' God Mode '. God Mode is an inbuilt, but hidden feature of Windows that provides additional customization options for the operating system. With Windows 10, all the Settings of the operating system are kept under Settings App, and categorized between System, Devices, Network & Internet, Personalization, Update & Security, Privacy and more. Enabling God Mode, also known as 'Windows Master Control Panel Shortcut ', in Windows 10 essentially unlocks a backdoor of the OS to access 260+ additional settings from a single folder. How to Enable God Mode in Windows 10? Follow the steps given below to enable the God Mode in your Windows 10: Create a new folder on your Windows desktop (New > Folder) and save it with th
THN Weekly Roundup — 15 Most Popular Cyber Security and Hacking News Stories

THN Weekly Roundup — 15 Most Popular Cyber Security and Hacking News Stories

September 14, 2015Mohit Kumar
We are once again here with our weekly round up based on last week's top cyber security threats and challenges. I recommend you to read the entire thing ( just click ' Read More ' because there's some valuable advice in there as well ). Here's the list: 1. Reminder! If You have not yet, Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now Microsoft is very powerful in tracking every single word you type or say to its digital assistant Cortana using its newest Windows 10 operating system. The keylogger that Microsoft put in the  Technical Preview of Windows 10  last fall made its way to  Windows 10 Free  public release first rolled out back in July. Besides various  Windows 10 privacy issues , there is a software component that is a bit more complicated than you thought. It tracks your inputs using: Keyboard Voice Screen Mouse Stylus Information about your Calendar and Contacts If this keylogger, which is more than just a keylogger, makes you feel creepy then need
Windows Updates Can be Intercepted to Inject Malware into Corporate Networks

Windows Updates Can be Intercepted to Inject Malware into Corporate Networks

August 07, 2015Khyati Jain
If you think that the patches delivered through Windows update can not be laced with malware, think again. Security researchers have shown that Hackers could intercept Windows Update to deliver and inject malware in organizations. Security researchers from UK-based security firm ' Context ' have discovered a way to exploit insecurely configured implementations of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) for an enterprise. What is WSUS in Windows? Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) allows an administrator to deploy the Windows software update to servers and desktops throughout the organization. These updates come from the WSUS server and not Windows server. Once the updates are with the administrator on the server, he can limit the privilege for the clients in a corporate environment to download and install these updates. As the admin is the owner of the distribution of these updates. Intercepting WSUS to Inject Malware into Corporate Networks By def
Microsoft releases Emergency Patch Update for all versions of Windows

Microsoft releases Emergency Patch Update for all versions of Windows

July 20, 2015Mohit Kumar
In the wake of a critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability in all supported versions of its operating system platform, Microsoft has just issued an emergency fix. Yes, it's time to patch your Windows operating system against an alarming security hole that could allow remote attackers to run malicious code on your computer, thereby taking " complete control of the affected system. " The critical flaw ( CVE-2015-2426 ), which affects all the supported versions of Windows operating system, resides in the way Windows Adobe Type Manager Library handles specially crafted Microsoft's OpenType fonts. Once exploited, the vulnerability could allow hackers to execute remotely malicious code on victims' computer if they open a specially crafted document or visit an untrusted web page that contains embedded OpenType fonts. " An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights ," Microsoft s
18-year-old Unpatched Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Microsoft Windows

18-year-old Unpatched Vulnerability Affects All Versions of Microsoft Windows

April 14, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have unearthed a serious security flaw in all supported versions of Windows that could let hackers steal users' credentials from computers, tablets or servers running any version of Windows operating system, including the as-yet-released Windows 10. This vulnerability in Windows was first discovered 20 Years ago : The critical bug, dubbed " Redirect to SMB ," is a variant of a vulnerability found in Windows by researcher Aaron Spangler nearly 18 years ago that caused Windows to expose a user's Windows username and password automatically. However, according to researchers at security firm Cylance who discovered the flaw, this weakness in Windows was never patched by Microsoft, as Microsoft says that this flaw is not worth focusing on, and, therefore... ...This results in a new hack that targets the SMB file sharing protocol . But, What is SMB? SMB, or Server Message Block, is a protocol that allows users to share files o
Bypassing Windows Security by modifying 1 Bit Only

Bypassing Windows Security by modifying 1 Bit Only

February 12, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Among several vulnerabilities, Microsoft on Tuesday patched a critical vulnerability that could be exploited by hackers to bypass security measures on all versions of Windows operating systems from XP to Windows 10, just by modifying a single bit. The local privilege escalation vulnerability ( CVE-2015-0057 ) could give attackers total control of the victims' machines, explains Udi Yavo, the chief technology officer at the security firm enSilo. " A threat actor that gains access to a Windows machine can exploit this vulnerability to bypass all Windows security measures, defeating mitigation measures such as sandboxing, kernel segregation and memory randomization ," said Yavo. INTERESTING PART OF THE FLAW Yavo continued, " Interestingly, the exploit requires modifying only a single bit of the Windows operating system. " The flaw existed in the graphical user interface (GUI) component of the Win32k.sys module within the Windows Kernel which, amon
Beware of Zeus Banking Trojan Signed With Valid Digital Signature

Beware of Zeus Banking Trojan Signed With Valid Digital Signature

April 06, 2014Anonymous
A new dangerous variant of ZeuS Banking Trojan has been identified by Comodo AV labs which is signed by stolen Digital Certificate which belongs to Microsoft Developer to avoid detection from Web browsers and anti-virus systems. Every Windows PC in the world is set to accept software " signed " with Microsoft's digital certificates of authenticity, an extremely sensitive cryptography seal. Cyber Criminals somehow managed to hack valid Microsoft digital certificate, used it to trick users and admins into trusting the file. Since the executable is digitally signed by the Microsoft developer no antivirus tool could find it as malicious. Digitally signed malware received a lot of media attention last year. Reportedly, more than 200,000 unique malware binaries were discovered in past two years signed with valid digital signatures. A Comodo User submitted a sample of the malicious software that attempts to trick user by masquerading itself as file of Intern
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