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News

PDF Exploit Circulation High During May

Fortinet : 07 June, 2010  (Technical Article)
Fortinet's May Threatscape report highlights new PDF exploit which is being used in high volume spam campaign
Fortinet has announced its May 2010 Threatscape report showed a new PDF exploit being circulated in high volume through an ongoing spam campaign. The vulnerability, first blogged about by Didier Stevens on March 29, 2010, is CVE-2010-1240, and the malicious documents now exploiting this are detected by Fortinet as PDF/Pidief.BV!exploit. Though no patch exists, Adobe has recommended mitigation strategies on its blog. To further combat the threat, Fortinet recommends implementing an intrusion prevention and antivirus solution. This vulnerability was ranked second for overall malware activity this month, behind only the nefarious Pushdo botnet.

"What sets PDF/Pidief.BV apart from other PDF threats we are seeing, is that it requires user interaction," said Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research, Fortinet. "More specifically, a user needs to click on the 'open' button when prompted by a dialog box to initiate the infection. This threat is another reason why it's imperative for users to carefully read these types of messages when they appear."

In the case of PDF/Pidief.BV, clicking "open" will first execute VBScript and then add a malicious Botnet loader binary, which compromises the system. For detailed information on this specific PDF attack, please view our FortiGuard virus encyclopedia entry here.

Botnet activity remained strong this report, with Gumblar and Sasfis present in both the Top 10 Attack and Top 10 Malware lists. Though the main botnets−such as Pushdo, Cutwail and Sasfis− continue to pose significant threats, newer botnets are emerging. We first saw the CMultiLoader Botnet in the wild on April 8, 2010. A variant of this botnet, W32/CMultiLoader.A, has landed in the sixth spot in our Top 10 Malware list this report. The Katusha Botnet just missed our Top 10 list this report, ranking #11. These are two examples of up and coming botnets that are making waves. Fortinet detects the Katusha sample as W32/Katusha.1824!tr. Total detected malware volume for this report has remained fairly consistent since the beginning of the year, though distinct detection continues to rise. This indicates more variations of malware circulating in cyberspace as malware creators continue to pack, encrypt and morph their malicious binaries.

FortiGuard Labs compiled threat statistics and trends for May based on data collected from FortiGate® network security appliances and intelligence systems in production worldwide. Customers who use Fortinet's FortiGuard Subscription Services should already be protected against the threats outlined in this report.

FortiGuard Subscription Services offer broad security solutions including antivirus, intrusion prevention, Web content filtering and anti-spam capabilities. These services help protect against threats on both application and network layers. FortiGuard Services are updated by FortiGuard Labs, which enables Fortinet to deliver a combination of multi-layered security intelligence and zero-day protection from new and emerging threats. For customers with a subscription to FortiGuard, these updates are delivered to all FortiGate, FortiMail and FortiClient products.
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