Security Experts:

Exploit for Recently Patched Flash Flaw Added to Magnitude EK

The authors of the Magnitude exploit kit have already started integrating an exploit for a recently patched Adobe Flash Player vulnerability.

The flaw in question, tracked as CVE-2016-4117, was discovered by FireEye researchers on May 8. The vulnerability, described as a type confusion, had been exploited in the wild using specially crafted Microsoft Office documents.

Adobe plugged the Flash Player security hole, along with 24 other vulnerabilities, on May 12 with the release of versions 21.0.0.242 and 11.2.202.616.

FireEye disclosed the details of CVE-2016-4117 on May 13 and, on May 21, the French security researcher known as Kafeine had already spotted Magnitude trying to exploit the flaw against Flash Player 21.0.0.213 installations. The expert noted on Saturday that the integration appeared to be in progress since the exploit was not fully functional at the time of initial analysis.

A VirusTotal analysis from Saturday shows that only three antivirus engines detect the Flash exploit.

Kafeine told SecurityWeek on Monday that the exploit still hasn’t been fully implemented in Magnitude, which these days has been used exclusively to deliver Cerber ransomware.

According to the researcher, security firm ESET spotted a fully working exploit for CVE-2016-4117 in the Neutrino exploit kit. Neutrino has leveraged the exploit to deliver CryptXXX ransomware. 

The authors of the Magnitude exploit kit have stepped up their game over the past year and managed to integrate exploits for Flash Player vulnerabilities shortly after they were patched by Adobe.

Last month, Kafeine and researchers at FireEye discovered that Magnitude had been leveraging a Flash Player zero-day to deliver various pieces of malware, including Locky and Cerber ransomware.

FireEye noted at the time that the delivery chain of the Magnitude exploit kit had been updated. Magnitude authors had added a profile gate designed to avoid serving exploits to users browsing from virtual machines and ones with certain security products installed.

Cybercriminals can make a significant amount of money from renting exploit kits. A report published last week by Check Point showed that the group behind Nuclear makes roughly $100,000 per month by renting access to the exploit kit.

*Updated with information that an exploit for CVE-2016-4117 has been added to the Neutrino exploit kit

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.