Attackers use Windows flaw to target activists on Google

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Politically motivated, highly targeted.

Hackers were exploiting a Windows and Internet Explorer flaw disclosed in January to attack Google users, the search giant said on Friday.

“We’ve noticed some highly targeted and apparently politically motivated attacks against our users. We believe activists may have been a specific target,” Google’s security team confirmed in a blog post.

The attacks had also aimed at users of “another popular social site”, it said, but did not disclose which site. 

Microsoft said it was investigating reports of "limited, targeted attacks" in an updated advisory.

The Windows “MHTML” flaw affected Internet Explorer browsers, allowing an attacker to spoof web content and steal user information.

It stemmed from the way Windows handled MIME-formatted content and affected both servers and desktops. 

Google’s security team said this style of attack was a new area of threat for web users.

“It represents a new quality in the exploitation of web-level vulnerabilities. To date, similar attacks focused on directly compromising users' systems, as opposed to leveraging vulnerabilities to interact with web services,” they said.

In January, Microsoft issued a temporary fix (found here) to prevent attackers exploiting the client-side weakness, but was yet to release an actual patch. 

A server-side resolution was yet to be developed.

“We’re working with Microsoft to develop a comprehensive solution for this issue,” said Google’s security team.

Google’s server side protections to date had made the vulnerability “harder to exploit”, but they were “not tenable long-term solutions”.  

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Attackers use Windows flaw to target activists on Google
 
 
 
Top Stories
Coalition's NBN cost-benefit study finds in favour of MTM
FTTP costs too much, would take too long.
 
Who'd have picked a BlackBerry for the Internet of Things?
[Blog] BlackBerry has a more secure future in the physical world.
 
Will Nutanix be outflanked before reaching IPO?
VMware muscles in on storage startup in hyper-converged infrastructure.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  69%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  11%
 
Denial of service attacks
  7%
 
Insider threats
  11%
TOTAL VOTES: 629

Vote