The Stuxnet Virus which attacks Industrial Control Systems was first discovered in 2010 when it infected Iranian Programmable Logic Controllers. Stuxnet compromises controllers by first targeting Windows operating systems and networks. Propagating through infected Windows machines it locates Siemens software used to manage controllers. Stuxnet then collects information on the systems and in the case of the Iranian centrifuges caused them to malfunction, destroying the nuclear material they were enriching.
Attempts by Microsoft to fix the vulnerability did not address how LNK files use attributes to identify folder location. Microsoft’s explanation states LNK files were able to bypass the fix, resulting in a previously an unexpected vulnerability.
Affected Versions include:
Discovering Microsoft’s two previous attempts to fix the vulnerability had failed Microsoft released the June patch to address vulnerability CVE-2017-8464. Microsoft confirmed that the flaw had been exploited in the wild. Exploits for the vulnerability are currently available for Metasploit, with videos available on Youtube on how to exploit the vulnerability.
According to an advisory published by the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, hackers already know another method for bypassing Microsoft’s patches for the above issue.
“The fix for CVE-2010-2568 and the subsequent fix for CVE-2015-0096 are both insufficient in that they not take into account LNK files that use the SpecialFolderDataBlock or KnownFolderDataBlock attributes to specify the location of a folder. Such files are able to bypass the whitelisting first implemented in the fix for CVE-2010-2568,” CERT/CC said in its advisory.
“By convincing a user to display a specially-crafted shortcut file, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. Depending on the operating system and AutoRun/AutoPlay configuration, this can happen automatically by connecting a USB device,”
Additional steps can be taken to prevent the exploitation of this vulnerability by blocking outgoing connections on TCP and UDP ports 139 and 445.
Courtney “Brock” Rabon is KBRwyle’s Cyber Evangelist and has 11 years of experience helping Commercial and Federal clients meet their cyber security goals. He manages their Cyber Security Technologies Lab in Charleston, SC and can be reached at [email protected].
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(Security Affairs – Stuxnet, )