Researchers discover new global cyber-espionage campaign
Security researchers have identified an ongoing cyber-espionage campaign that compromised 59 computers belonging to government organizations, research institutes, think tanks and private companies from 23 countries in the past 10 days.
The attack campaign was discovered and analyzed by researchers from security firm Kaspersky Lab and the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySyS) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Dubbed MiniDuke, the attack campaign used targeted email messages -- a technique known as spear phishing -- that carried malicious PDF files rigged with a recently patched exploit for Adobe Reader 9, 10 and 11.
The exploit was originally discovered in active attacks earlier this month by security researchers from FireEye and is capable of bypassing the sandbox protection in Adobe Reader 10 and 11. Adobe released security patches for the vulnerabilities targeted by the exploit on Feb. 20.
The new MiniDuke attacks use the same exploit identified by FireEye, but with some advanced modifications, said Costin Raiu, director of Kaspersky Lab's global research and analysis team, on Wednesday. This could suggest that the attackers had access to the toolkit that was used to create the original exploit.