Posts tagged Council on Foreign Relations
Through a collaboration with (Jindrich Kubec (@Jindroush), Director of Threat Intelligence at avast! / Eric Romang (@eromang), independent security researcher), we can confirm that the watering hole campaigns are still ongoing, targeting multiple web high value web sites, including as example a major Hong Kong political party. We can also confirm that a second major Hong Kong political party is victim of this watering hole campaign.
This website is actually using the new version of the original Internet Explorer (CVE-2012-4792) vulnerability attack, patched in MS13-008, but right now it’s also using the latest Java (CVE-2013-0422) vulnerability, patched in Oracle Java 7 Update 11.
We will provide you further details on the affected web sites after their cleaning.
This website is a legitimate compromised website used for hosting the exploit files, hosted in South Korea.
This include file uses the well-known “deployJava” function, aka “deployJava.js“, and creates a cookie “Somethingeeee” with one day expiration date. This cookie is quite strange and it’s also possible to find it in years old exploits, which suggests this is only a part of greater, long-going operation.
If Internet Explorer 8 is used , an iframe is load from”hxxp://www.[REDACTED].org/board/data/m/mt.html” file. Otherwise and if Oracle Java is detected, an iframe will load “hxxp://www.[REDACTED].org/board/data/m/javamt.html“.
Analysis of “mt.html“
https://www.virustotal.com/file/58588ce6d0a1e042450946b03fa4cd92ac1b4246cb6879a7f50a0aab2a84086a/analysis/ (avast detects this code as JS:Bogidow-A [Expl] through Script Shield component).
Comparing to the original CFR and Capstone Turbine versions, this code is not targeting certain browser supported language, but the code is based on the version used on CFR with “boy” and “girl” patterns.
The executable file can be extracted from the string by cutting of first 13 characters, converting hex chars to binary and xoring the whole binary blob with 0xBF. Resulting file with SHA256 CE6C5D2DCF5E9BDECBF15E95943F4FFA845F8F07ED2D10FD6E544F30A9353AD2 is RAT which is communicating with a domain hosted in Hong Kong by New World Telecom.
Analysis of “javamt.html“
“javamt.html” (b32bf36160c7a3cc5bc765672f7d6f2c) is checking if Oracle Java 7 is present, if yes latest Java vulnerability, CVE-2013-0422, will be executed through “AppletHigh.jar” (521eab796271254793280746dbfd9951). If Oracle Java 6 is present, “AppletLow.jar” (2062203f0ecdaf60df34b5bdfd8eacdc) will exploit CVE-2011-3544. Both these applets contain the very same binary mentioned above (unencrypted).
As you see, the watering hole campaign still continues, but has evolved in form but also by using the latest Oracle Java vulnerability. There is just one advise: patch, patch, patch… and see you soon.
As announced yesterday, in an advanced notification, Microsoft has release an out-of-band patch MS13-008 to fix the an Internet Explorer 0day , CVE-2012-4792, discovered exploited in targeted attacks against different organizations like Council on Foreign Relations (CFR.org), a foreign policy web group.
This vulnerability was acknowledged by Microsoft, in MSA-2794220, the 30 December, but was exploited in targeted attacks since minimum beginning December. Two weeks after the acknowledge, the patch is out and will fix this vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. So just, patch, patch, patch until the next Internet Explorer 0day found exploited in targeted attacks… See you in two or three months.
Microsoft, announcing in an Advanced Notification, will release, this Monday at 10 a.m. PST, an out-of-band security update to address vulnerability CVE-2012-4792, who was actively exploited in the wild targeting different organizations like Council on Foreign Relations (CFR.org), a foreign policy web group. This vulnerability was acknowledged by Microsoft, in MSA-2794220, the 30 December, but was exploited in targeted attacks since minimum beginning December. So, like for Oracle Java 7 Update 11 release, I advise you to patch asap.
Since the release of MSA-2794220 by Microsoft, regarding the CVE-2012-4792 vulnerability, a Fix-it solution has been provided KB2794220. I urgently advise you to apply this Fix-it solution, or to use another browser, until the release of the final patch surely planned for the 8 January Microsoft Patch Tuesday.
I have some interesting and funny additional information’s regarding the CFR watering hole attack, and I would like to share them with you. But previously I recommend you to read the following analysis done by security companies or independent security researchers:
- “CFR WATERING HOLE ATTACK DETAILS“ from FireEye has been completed with additional information’s.
- “Internet Explorer Zero-Day Used in Watering Hole Attack: Q&A” from Symantec is also a pleasure to read.
- “CVE-2012-4792 – Analysis of today.swf” from StopMalvertising provide also interesting information’s.
Let’s start with the analysis of only two samples, “news_14242aa.html” and “Helps.html“. These two samples are quiet interesting, and a complete blog post is enough for them. I will analyze the other samples in dedicated further blog posts.
This sample was extracted from Google cache with a cache date of 7 Dec 2012 14:12:28 GMT. This sample clearly demonstrate that the compromise of CFR.org wasn’t the 20, or 21 December as mentioned by security companies or medias, but really sooner. The proof is still indexed and in cache of Google.
I received this sample, around the 29 December. This file is the equivalent of the first sample but with some modifications, you can see the differences in the following online diff. Additional languages have been added (jp – ru – ko), all the stuffs regarding Microsoft Office documents have been removed (boy or girl), some additional “blank” locations have been added and the body text has been hide.
Now, if you do research on VirusTotal with this MD5, you can find a relate sample, but with another filename “config.html” who was submitted the 2012-12-31 18:29:47 UTC. Looks like interesting, but has to be confirmed.
If you execute a request on urlQuery in order to search all “config.html” file for the last past month, you will discover a submission, dating from 2012-12-29 22:58:29, for URL “http://www.capstoneturbine.com/_include/config.html” on server 18.104.22.168. If you take a look at the urlQuery report you can see some “deployJavaPlugin” strings.
The Capstone Turbine Corporation company description, make me believe that this company profile could be a choice of quality for targeted attack:
Capstone Turbine Corporation ® is the world’s leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems, and was first to market with commercially viable microturbine energy products. Capstone Turbine has shipped thousands of Capstone MicroTurbine systems to customers worldwide.
By doing a Google dork research “site:capstoneturbine.com “_include”” you can see something strangely similar to CFR.org “news_14242aa.html“ file.
This page is also cached in google cache, and guess what ? Ho, Ho Ho, CVE-2012-4792 is in the house since the 18 December 16:10:40 GMT. So CFR.org was and is not the only target of this attack !
Now we will try to define the date of compromise of Capstone Turbine Corporation through research on Google by another google dork ““capstoneturbine.com” “_include”“. And we can find some interesting informations
On support.clean-mx.de we can discover that the same “/_include/config.html” URL was indexed since 2012-09-19 04:31:01. But what is awesome is the evidence attached to this submission hoho it is CVE-2012-4969 I discovered in September “Grumgog.swf” is in the house.
My conclusions are:
- CFR.org was comprised since minimum beginning December.
- CVE-2012-4792 was present on CFR.org since minimum beginning December.
- CVE-2012-4792 was also used to target visitors of another company named Capstone Turbine Corporation.
- CVE-2012-4792 was present on Capstone Turbine Corporation since minimum 18 December.
- Capstone Turbine Corporation was also used to spread CVE-2012-4969 and this since mid-September.
- Potentially Capstone Turbine Corporation is compromised since minimum beginning September
- Potentially the guys behind CVE-2012-4969 and CVE-2012-4792 are the same.
But, there is always a but in a story, take a look at the first submission for Capstone Turbine Corporation in August, “http://www.capstoneturbine.com/_flash/videos_native/exploit.html “. Imagine
Update 1 – 2013-01-02 1:30 am:
Jindrich Kubec director of Threat Intelligence at avast! confirm presence of CVE-2012-4969 in September on Capstone Turbine Corporation.
@eromangI wrote to Capstone Turbine on 19th Sep about the Flash exploit stuff they were hosting. They never replied. And also not fixed
— Jindrich Kubec (@Jindroush) Janvier 2, 2013