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RIG

RIG exploit kit remains the most commonly observed EK in the wild, with several different campaigns in action. RIG was the first to include the new VBScript engine exploit (CVE-2018-8174) in IE only days after a Proof of Concept became publicly available, on top of adding CVE-2018-4878. RIG has pushed various payloads such as Bunitu, Ursnif, and the popular SmokeLoader.

Exploit kit

Active

GrandSoft

GrandSoft is an IE-only exploit kit which is observed in a smaller range of distribution campaigns, mostly via malvertising on adult sites. In comparison to its counterparts, GrandSoft is still relying on the older Internet Explorer exploit (CVE-2016-0189) and lacks the obfuscation we normally see in landing pages. Some payloads pushed by GrandSoft include the AZORult stealer.

Exploit kit

Active

Magnitude

The South Korea–focused exploit kit is back to using its trusted EK Magniber after having a short stint with GandCrab ransomware. Magnitude added Flash (CVE-2018-4878) and went on to integrate IE’s CVE-2018-8174 after a hiatus of about a week with no activity. With its own Magnigate filtering, Base64-encoded landing page and fileless payload, Magnitude is one of the more sophisticated exploit kits on the market.

Exploit kit

Active

GreenFlash Sundown

The elusive GreenFlash Sundown continues to strike via compromised OpenX ad servers. Although it is usually seen distributing the Hermes ransomware, 360 Total Security observed a cryptocurrency miner via several Chinese websites running a vulnerable OpenX version. The ad banner used by GF Sundown in this attack, as well as some we documented before, is a Korean language picture that hides CVE-2018-4878 using steganography.

Exploit kit

Active

KaiXin EK

KaiXin EK (also known as CK VIP) is an older exploit kit of Chinese origin, which has maintained its activity over the years. It is unique for the fact that it uses a combination of old (Java) and new vulnerabilities. When we captured it, we noted that it pushed the Gh0st RAT (Remote Access Trojan).

Exploit kit

Active

Underminer EK

Although this exploit kit was only identified and named recently, it has been around since at least November 2017 (perhaps with only limited distribution to the Chinese market). It is an interesting EK from a technical perspective with, for example, the use of encryption to package its exploit and prevent offline replays using traffic captures. Another out-of-the-ordinary aspect of Underminer is its payload, which isn’t a packaged binary like others, but rather a set of libraries that install a bootkit on the compromised system. By altering the device’s Master Boot Record, this threat can launch a cryptominer every time the machine reboots.

Exploit kit

Active

Pseudo-EKs

Many exploit packs have leaked and been poached over the years, notwithstanding the availability of a large number of other dumps (i.e. HackingTeam) or proofs-of-concept. As a result, it is not surprising to see many less-skilled actors putting together their own “pseudo-exploit kits.” They are a far cry from being an EK—they are usually static in nature, their copy/paste exploits are buggy, and consequently, they are only used by the same threat actor in limited distribution. The pseudo-exploit we picture below (offensive domain name has been blurred) is one of the better ones we saw in July, in particular for its use of CVE-2018-8174.

Exploit kit

Active