'Olympic' emails contain malicious XLS attachments

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Mar 10, 2008

Malware writers sprint to use vulnerabilities before next Patch Tuesday.

Security researchers have reported seeing emails containing XLS attachments designed to exploit a yet unpatched vulnerability in several versions of Microsoft's Excel software.

The attachment, which purports to contain information about this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, leaves a trojan on the user's computer. After opening a backdoor, the trojan also drops a non-malicious Excel file, tricking the user into believing that the attachment is genuine and harmless.

The vulnerability that is being used was first reported in the wild in January, but a patch was withdrawn at the last moment from Microsoft's February release of patches, thus giving malware writers until tomorrow's Patch Tuesday to exploit the flaw.

Virus Bulletin advises users to be wary of opening unsolicited emails and to treat file attachments with extreme caution. More can be found at Trend Micro here, with details on the vulnerability at Microsoft Security Advisory here.

Posted on 10 March 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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