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Monday, February 12, 2024

3 Effectively-known Microsoft Phrase & Excel Flaws Exploited

Regardless of not being 0-day and even 1-day vulnerabilities, three well-known and outdated CVEs in Microsoft Phrase and Excel proceed to pose a risk to the cybersecurity business.

In these three CVEs, researchers discovered a number of connections, together with technical methods to hide the dangerous nature of the malicious paperwork and lure subjects designed to mislead customers into opening the doc.

“Greater than 13000 samples that use outdated CVEs are lurking in-the-wild in 2023. Completely different codecs – DOC(X), XLS(X), RTF – and methods are used, all with the identical function: to lure the sufferer into clicking and trigger the next malware to unfold”, CheckPoint mentioned.

Assault domains that the operators of mallocs choose embody profitable industries, together with banking and finance, authorities, and healthcare.

Affected International locations

3 Outdated And Effectively-Identified CVEs Used In Microsoft Phrase & Excel

  • CVE-2017-11882 (technical evaluation by Palo Alto)
  • CVE-2017-0199 (technical evaluation by Notion Level)
  • CVE-2018-0802 (technical evaluation by Examine Level Software program Applied sciences)

Maldocs with specified CVEs have been used to unfold a number of notorious malware households, corresponding to Dridex in 2017 (CVE-2017-0199), Guloader in 2021 (CVE-2017-11882), LokiBot in 2018(CVE-2018-0802) and others.

The state of affairs remained unchanged in 2023 regardless of the detection of sure noteworthy additions to the disseminated payloads, corresponding to samples utilized by Agent Tesla, Gamaredon APT, and Formbook/Xloader.

The samples utilized in Gamaredon APT actions are among the many most noteworthy. A infamous hacker gang supported by the Russian state known as Gamaredon APT.

Connection of the maldoc exploiting CVE-2017-0199 with Gamaredon APT

Agent Tesla is a well known malware household that topped the listing of most typical malware in October 2022. It’s a complicated RAT functioning as a keylogger and knowledge stealer.

Connection of the maldoc exploiting CVE-2017-11882 with Agent Tesla

GuLoader is one other malware household that has been noticed being distributed utilizing maldocs. A well known shellcode-based downloader referred to as GuLoader has been utilized in quite a few assaults to distribute a number of forms of the “most needed” malware.

Connection of the maldoc exploiting CVE-2017-0199 with GuLoader

Initially recognized in 2016, Formbook is an infostealer malware (CVE-2017-11882). Screenshots, keystrokes, and credentials saved in on-line browsers are just some of the info sorts that it takes from compromised programs.

Maldocs can take quite a lot of types, however considered one of their lures is a poorly formatted textual content that also requires the person to “allow modifying” for this doc. 

Excel malicious paperwork could also be encrypted, which might complicate evaluation. The MS Enhanced RSA and AES crypto-providers are used to hold out the encryption and decryption.

Shellcodes inside malicious paperwork, huge oleObjects, obfuscated VBA macros, and unusual URLs are among the methods employed in maldocs.

“The methodology of the 5-year-old spreading methodology have to be well-known, and this malware have to be detected and stopped as early as potential”, researchers mentioned.


  • Replace the working system and any put in apps.
  • By no means click on on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails from senders you don’t acknowledge.
  • Enhance employees consciousness of cybersecurity
  • If you’re uncertain, communicate with a safety knowledgeable; stopping a difficulty is preferable than treating it.

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