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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

BlackHole toolkit targets Microsoft XML Core Services flaw

Posted August 1, 2012    Sarah Lieber

Blackhole is a popular exploit kit used to inject malware onto PCs that visit an exploited site, or are redirected to such a site from another, compromised website.  As hackers get bolder they use these types of toolkits to compromise computer networks.  This allows less sophisticated individuals and organizations to compromise computer networks since these kits are relatively easy to attain and leverage.

The Blackhole exploit toolkit has been updated to take advantage of a Microsoft XML Core Services flaw, CVE-2012-1889.  The vulnerability applies to numerous supported Microsoft operating systems as well as some versions of Microsoft Office.  For more detailed information on this vulnerability and the list of patches provided by Microsoft, check out a recent blog post by Marc Maiffret. Or you can listen to the July 2012 Vulnerability Experts Forum (VEF).

BeyondTrust’s vulnerability management solution, Retina, not only identifies the vulnerability but also correlates it to the Blackhole exploit toolkit putting ‘Security in Context’ to ensure that security professionals and operational teams are made aware that there are known exploits and tool kits that put this vulnerability into a higher risk category.

In the above examples we see under the ‘exploit’ tab that there is a known exploit in the Exploit DB.  In the case where personnel resources are limited, this information is critical in determining where to apply resources for remediation.

Retina further uncovers the context of the vulnerability by including whether or not there are known malware toolkits leveraging the exploit.

As we mentioned above, these toolkits make it relatively ‘easy’ for nefarious individuals and organizations to quickly set-up websites that exploit this and other vulnerabilities.  Locating which vulnerabilities are included in these toolkits is critical to understanding where to focus resources for remediation and serve as the ‘low hanging fruit’ that the operational teams can focus on first from a remediation efforts perspective.

In addition to the details located in Retina CS, Retina Insight’s threat analyzers can help organizations quickly locate these low hanging fruit to determine the impact of remediating these vulnerabilities.

Users can leverage the built-in Risk Profiles (as shown above) or…

Users can also leverage the Risk Profile builder and create their own custom Profiles.  In this case I’m creating a profile that looks for Blackhole. Check out our blog post on Threat Analyzers, to find out more.

As you can see Retina provides organizations with numerous ways to quickly pare down vulnerabilities that put their organization at risk.  Additionally Retina CS provides remediation teams with the ability to deploy patches within the same console for complete vulnerability lifecycle management. Try a free trial of Retina CS now.

The latest audits database contains the following audits associated with MS12-043:

[16728] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2721693
[16739] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2721693 x64
[16730] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2721691
[16744] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2721691 x64
[16729] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 6.1
[16745] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 6.1 x64
[16731] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 6.0
[16746] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 6.0 x64
[16732] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 5.2
[16747] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 5.2 x64
[16733] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 5.1
[16748] Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution (2722479) – KB2719985 5.1 x64

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Additional articles

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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Adobe Patches Zero-Day Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

Posted January 22, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Earlier this week, French malware researcher Kafeine reported on a new Adobe Flash zero-day vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild using the latest versions of the Angler Exploit Toolkit. “Any version of Internet Explorer or Firefox with any version of Windows will get owned if Flash up to 16.0.0.287 (included) is installed and enabled”…

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Your Data Security Strategy Starts with Deploying a Least Privilege Model (part 2 of 2)

Posted January 22, 2015    Scott Lang

In last week’s blog, we talked about how controls and accountability must be put into place so that only the right folks can access data and the systems on which that data resides, and that employing a least privilege model helps to achieve that and more. We’re using conclusions and data from a recent report…

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