Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/16/2018
12:59 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Most Common Exploits of 2017 in Microsoft Office, Windows

The most common exploit affects Microsoft Office and has been used by attackers in North Korea, China, and Iran.

The most popular exploits in 2017 targeted Microsoft Office and Windows, report researchers at AlienVault, who say the most common flaws remain exploited for a long period of time.

Each year, the company records anonymized security events from customers and from other vendors' threat reports recorded via its Open Threat Exchange (OTX) platform. It combines findings from the two datasets into a single picture of the year's threat landscape.

There is significant difference between the most common exploits reported by vendor reports on OTX, and from AlienVault's customers. The dataset of 80 vendor reports indicates four of the top 10 exploits from 2017 target Microsoft Windows and three affect Office. There is one vulnerability each for Adobe Flash, Microsoft .NET, and Android/Linux on the list.

The top-ranked exploit, CVE-2017-0199, is an Office exploit that has been used by targeted attackers in North Korea, China, and Iran, as well as by criminal groups deploying Dridex. CVE-2012-0158, the third most-referenced vulnerability, affects Microsoft Windows.

AlienVault threat engineer Chris Doman reports Microsoft has "exceptionally mature" processes to prevent exploits. However, because its software is so widely used, exploits that slip through the cracks are used heavily once they are discovered.

In contrast with the vendors' threat reports, the AlienVault customer dataset is very large and contains billions of security events. Many of the most common exploits reported are fairly old and affect Windows 2000, Miniupnp, SNMP, OpenSSL Poodle, and PHP. There is one Microsoft Office vulnerability (CVE-2011-1277) and an Apache Struts vulnerability on the list.

Doman notes the data is biased toward "noisy" network-based exploit attempts from worms and exploit scanners, which is why the company is still collecting vulnerabilities from 2001 and 2002. It advises consulting the dataset on vendor reports when planning defense tactics.

Other key findings include the discovery that most effective exploits are quickly adopted by criminal and nation-state groups. NjRat malware variants were most common persisting on networks. On a geographical level, they noticed an increase of attackers located in Russia and North Korea, and a "significant drop" in activity coming from threat actors based in China.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
White House Cybersecurity Strategy at a Crossroads
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  7/17/2018
Lessons from My Strange Journey into InfoSec
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  7/12/2018
What's Cooking With Caleb Sima
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  7/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-9574
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
nss before version 3.30 is vulnerable to a remote denial of service during the session handshake when using SessionTicket extension and ECDHE-ECDSA.
CVE-2017-2673
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
An authorization-check flaw was discovered in federation configurations of the OpenStack Identity service (keystone). An authenticated federated user could request permissions to a project and unintentionally be granted all related roles including administrative roles.
CVE-2017-7481
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
Ansible before versions 2.3.1.0 and 2.4.0.0 fails to properly mark lookup-plugin results as unsafe. If an attacker could control the results of lookup() calls, they could inject Unicode strings to be parsed by the jinja2 templating system, resulting in code execution. By default, the jinja2 templati...
CVE-2018-12911
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
WebKitGTK+ 2.20.3 has an off-by-one error, with a resultant out-of-bounds write, in the get_simple_globs functions in ThirdParty/xdgmime/src/xdgmimecache.c and ThirdParty/xdgmime/src/xdgmimeglob.c.
CVE-2018-14404
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
A NULL pointer dereference vulnerability exists in the xpath.c:xmlXPathCompOpEval() function of libxml2 through 2.9.8 when parsing an invalid XPath expression in the XPATH_OP_AND or XPATH_OP_OR case. Applications processing untrusted XSL format inputs with the use of the libxml2 library may be vulne...