Zero-day exploit targets European website


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Zero-day exploit targets European website

Sophos is advising computer users and administrators to exercise caution following the discovery of an as-yet unpatched security vulnerability in Microsoft software.

SophosLabs determined that the website of a European aeronautical parts supplier - which is currently not being named due to the sensitivity of the situation - had been hacked, and a malicious attack planted on the website which exploits a zero-day Microsoft security vulnerability.

Sophos was alerted to the security problem when a Sophos customer attempted to visit the affected website, and received a warning message that a file on the site was infected by code which attempts to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services which could allow Remote Code Execution - a vulnerability known as CVE-2012-1889 - which has been linked to recent warnings from Google about 'state-sponsored attacks'.

"One way that hackers break into large companies and organisations is to target their supply chain. Rather than try to hack a company which may have robust security practices and security teams, they can instead attack a smaller supplier who is less likely to notice the security breach," says Brett Myroff, CEO of Sophos distributor, NetXactics.

Users running any flavour of currently-supported Windows are vulnerable, from XP, up to and including Windows 7. All supported editions of Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007 are also vulnerable. At the time of writing there is not yet an official patch from Microsoft - but the company recommends that Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office users immediately install a Fix it solution, downloadable with instructions from Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2719615, until the company issues an official fix.

"Users should not underestimate the seriousness of this vulnerability. It's being actively exploited in the wild, and there is currently no patch available for it.

“Sophos has raised its threat level rating to 'Critical'. Sophos does provide protection against the exploit - but the best solution of all would be to have a proper fix from Microsoft,” Myroff says.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Online bank accounts targeted over 5m times

During the past quarter, there were 5.68 million notifications about attempted malware infections to steal money from users via online access to bank accounts, says Kaspersky. Read More

Nigeria’s electronic fraud losses hit N4b

With the introduction of the cashless economy scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) designed to discourage use of cash, electronic crooks seem to have become more daring, fleecing banks and customers of over N4 billion. Read More

The human firewall – turning security’s weakest link into IT’s strongest ally

When it comes to cyber security, people are often the weakest link. A comprehensive approach to ‘people security’ is essential in closing the gap on this particular vulnerability, says Galix. Read More

FNB Botswana sensitizes customers on cyber crime

FNB Botswana has advised customers to be vigilant of scammers when purchasing via money transfer and online platforms.  Read More

Worse than it seems: DDoS attacks coincide with other threats

A survey undertaken by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International has demonstrated that, in most cases, a DDoS attack is only the tip of the attack iceberg.  Read More

Survey: 98 days to identify advanced cyber threats

A Ponemon Institute survey has found the average time span for financial services to identify an attack inside the network is 98 days. Read More

Corporations, others to up security spend by 25%

The app economy demands a new approach to security, says a recent study. Read More

P@$$wORD_1: How secure is your password?

With organisations being blamed for loopholes that give hackers access to information, companies are increasingly looking at how to better protect their users’ passwords.   Read More

Botswana urged to rethink cyber security threats

The founder of the African Cyber Risk Institute (ACRI) says now is the time for Botswana to create a national cyber risk agenda. Read More

Reducing the cyber attack surface

The cyber attack surface is much greater than just the business perimeter, says Intact Software Distribution. Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited


eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile

The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets. 


Nigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says WoodNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood

Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.