Hackers Sending Rogue 'Microsoft Services Agreement' Emails Exploiting Java Vulnerability

Hackers Sending Rogue 'Microsoft Services Agreement' Emails Exploiting Java Vulnerability

Cyber criminals are distributing mass on the internet while sending rogue email notifications about changes in Microsoft's Services Agreement to trick people into visiting malicious pages that use a recently circulated Java exploit to infect their computers with malwareOracle left a security flaw in one of the world’s most widely used programs unpatched for four months and then issues a half-baked fix, the company is practically inviting cyber criminals to exploit its users en mass. And as expected the invitation has been accepted.
The rogue email messages are copies of legitimate notifications that Microsoft sent out to users to announce changes to the company's Services Agreement that will take effect Oct. 19. "This email is a legitimate announcement regarding updates to the Microsoft Services Agreement and Communication Preferences," a Microsoft program manager for supporting mail technologies who identifies herself as Karla L, said on the Microsoft Answers website in response to a user inquiring about the authenticity of the email message.
However, she later acknowledged the existence of reports about malicious emails that use the same template. "If you received an email regarding the Microsoft Services Agreement update and you're reading your email through Hotmail or Outlook.com, the legitimate email should have a Green shield that indicates the message is from a Trusted Sender," she said. "If the email does not have a Green shield, you can mark the email as a Phishing scam." 
However, in the malicious versions of the emails, the correct links have been replaced with links to compromised websites that host attack pages from the Blackhole exploit toolkit. Blackhole is a tool used by cybercriminals to launch Web-based attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins like Java, Adobe Reader or Flash Player, in order to install malware on the computers of users who visit compromised or malicious websites.
This type of attack is known as a drive-by download and is very effective because it requires no user interaction to achieve its goal. The malicious Java applet used in this attack is detected by only eight of the 42 anitivirus engines available on the VirusTotal file scanning service. The Zeus variant has a similarly low detection rate.
"We're receiving multiple reports of a phishing campaign using the template from a legitimate Microsoft email regarding Important Changes to Microsoft Services Agreement and Communication Preferences," Russ McRee, security incident handler at the SANS Internet Storm Center, said Saturday in a blog post.

-Source (Info World)


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