2 min read

Google-Announced Windows Vulnerability Exploited In-The-Wild, According to Microsoft

Liviu ARSENE

November 02, 2016

Google-Announced Windows Vulnerability Exploited In-The-Wild, According to Microsoft

A recent zero-day vulnerability in Windows operating systems has been discovered and announced by Google researchers, affecting Windows Vista through Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Although the company was given 7 days to patch the reported kernel privilege escalation vulnerability, Microsoft failed to release a patch in the allotted time. It did say, though, that it will become available by next Tuesday. Stating that it was irresponsible for Google to publish the zero-day before a patch was available, Microsoft has also said in-the-wild attacks are already exploiting it.

“The Windows vulnerability is a local privilege escalation in the Windows kernel that can be used as a security sandbox escape. It can be triggered via the win32k.sys system call NtSetWindowLongPtr() for the index GWLP_ID on a window handle with GWL_STYLE set to WS_CHILD. Chrome’s sandbox blocks win32k.sys system calls using the Win32k lockdown mitigation on Windows 10, which prevents exploitation of this sandbox escape vulnerability,” reads the Google Security Blog.

The spear-phishing campaign used to leverage the zero-day vulnerability is believed to have been conducted by hacker group Strontium, also known as Pawn Storm, APT28, Fancy Bear, Sednit, Sofacy and Tsar Team. Although the team suggests it was a “low-volume” campaign, it”s unclear how many victims could have been targeted.

“We believe responsible technology industry participation puts the customer first, and requires coordinated vulnerability disclosure,” said Microsoft. “Google”s decision to disclose these vulnerabilities before patches are broadly available and tested is disappointing, and puts customers at increased risk.”

The attack has been described as delivered in three stages, first exploiting an Adobe Flash vulnerability, elevating privileges using the kernel zero-day disclosed by Google, then installing a backdoor to fully controll the victim”s computer. While the Adobe Flash vulnerability (CVE-2016-7855) has also been disclosed by Google at the same time as the Windows Vulnerability, Adobe already issued an update with the fix.

Urging users to rely on built-in security features bundled with Edge and Internet Explorer, Microsoft also points out that its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection system could prevent these threats. Everyone is strongly encouraged to update their Adobe Flash to the latest version and install Microsoft”s security updates for the kernel vulnerability as soon as it becomes available.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

E-mails claiming your computer was hacked and your privacy exposed - what you need to know (spoiler: you can relax - they’re bluffing)

E-mails claiming your computer was hacked and your privacy exposed - what you need to know (spoiler: you can relax - they’re bluffing)

July 29, 2021

5 min read
Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

July 16, 2021

3 min read
How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

July 06, 2021

2 min read
The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

July 02, 2021

4 min read
Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

July 02, 2021

3 min read
Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

June 30, 2021

2 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Supply Chain Attack Detected in PyPI Library Supply Chain Attack Detected in PyPI Library
Silviu STAHIE

August 02, 2021

1 min read
Scam baiter Jim Browning bamboozled by scammers into deleting his own YouTube channel Scam baiter Jim Browning bamboozled by scammers into deleting his own YouTube channel
Filip TRUȚĂ

August 02, 2021

3 min read
Instagram influencer Hushpuppi admits his part in scams that stole more than $24 million Instagram influencer Hushpuppi admits his part in scams that stole more than $24 million
Graham CLULEY

July 30, 2021

2 min read