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Wednesday, 12 April 2017 11:14

Microsoft Word bug used to spread banking trojan

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Australian users of Microsoft Word are being advised to tread with care as a zero-day that was publicised on the weekend is being used to spread the Dridex banking trojan.

Security firm Proofpoint said it had observed the document exploit, which was publicised by McAfee and FireEye, being used in a large email campaign distributing Dridex.

Proofpoint said the trojan was distributed to millions of recipients across numerous organisations in Australia, which they claimed was the primary country of this attack.

Microsoft has issued a patch for this vulnerability, the details of which were reported by iTWire on Sunday.

The bug in question allows a malicious Word document containing an OLE2link object to be executed by a system running even Windows 10. On execution, a malicious .hta file is fetched from a command server and run on the machine in question.

Screen Shot 2017 04 12 at 9.37.44 AM

The dialog box that appears when users open the document on a vulnerable system. 

Sherrod DeGrippo, director of Emerging Threats for Proofpoint, said: "Threat actors continue to demonstrate their flexibility and adaptability, rapidly taking advantage of new means of infecting users.

"Although attacks relying on document exploits are increasingly uncommon, they certainly remain in attackers' toolkits. New, exploitable vulnerabilities are often not readily available but, in this case, attackers obviously jumped at an opportunity to launch a large campaign that relied on this new exploit."

Microsoft also released additional updates for vulnerabilities in its products overnight, as part of its monthly security updates.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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