Posted by Virus Bulletin on Nov 28, 2011
Kit 'patched' to include latest exploit; users urged to patch their software too.
Security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs has found evidence that a recently discovered vulnerability in Java is being added to the 'BlackHole' exploit kit.
The vulnerability was discovered a few weeks ago and makes use of the Rhino Script Engine to run arbitrary code outside the sandbox. Following a patch released by Oracle, the exploit works against all but the latest versions of Java.
Although there is evidence suggesting that this exploit is currently only used to target computers running Windows, the fact that Java is cross-platform makes these vulnerabilities popular for those who want to attack other operating systems, such as Mac OS X. Java exploits are therefore commonly used in exploit kits such as 'BlackHole'.
This kit, which can be bought on the black market, attempts to gain access to the victim's system via exploits in commonly used browser add-ons such as Java, Flash and Adobe Reader. It is usually embedded into legitimate but hacked websites via hidden iframes, making those who avoid the more obscure corners of the Internet just as vulnerable to such attacks. Making sure software is always up to date (or in the case of Java, as Krebs suggests, uninstalled when not needed) is thus an essential step Internet users should take to keep their computers secure.
The sad irony is that 'customers' of 'BlackHole' are having their kits automatically 'patched' to include this latest exploit, Krebs found on underground forums. This is yet another sign of how cybercriminals have become as professional as legitimate software companies.