Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



New ‘Lord’ Exploit Kit Emerges

A newly identified exploit kit is targeting vulnerable versions of Adobe’s Flash Player, Malwarebytes security researchers say.

A newly identified exploit kit is targeting vulnerable versions of Adobe’s Flash Player, Malwarebytes security researchers say.

Dubbed “Lord,” the exploit kit (EK) was initially identified by Virus Bulletin‘s Adrian Luca. The toolkit emerged as part of a malvertising chain via the PopCash ad network.

The EK uses a compromised website to redirect unsuspecting victims to its landing page. Initially, the portal was rather rudimentary and in clear text, but the toolkit operators quickly moved to obfuscate it. 

The landing page has a function to check for the presence of Flash Player, in an attempt to exploit the CVE-2018-15982 vulnerability

The landing also collects information on the victim’s system, such as Flash Player and various network attributes.

One thing that sets the Lord EK apart from other toolkits is the use of the ngrok service to craft custom hostnames, which resulted in rather unusual URLs. 

“This is rather unusual at least from what we have observed with exploit kits in recent history. As per ngrok’s documentation, it exposes a local server to the public internet. The free version of ngrok generates random subomains which is almost perfect (and reminds us of Domain Shadowing) for the exploit kit author,” Malwarebytes notes. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

At the moment, the Lord EK only targets vulnerabilities in the Flash Player plugin. Other toolkits out there also include exploits for Internet Explorer security flaws, and it might not be long before the newcomer implements them as well. 

After exploiting the CVE-2018-15982 vulnerability, Lord EK launches shellcode to download and execute a payload. Initially, it was observed delivering the njRAT backdoor, but the threat actors behind it switched to the ERIS ransomware.

Malwarebytes also noticed that after exploitation the exploit kit redirects victims to the Google home page, a behavior previously observed in the Spelevo toolkit.

The security researchers note that the Lord EK is currently being actively updated, but that it’s yet uncertain for how long its would remain active. 

“Lately there has been a trend of what we call pseudo-exploit kits, where a threat actor essentially grabs a proof of concept for an Internet Explorer or Flash Player vulnerability and crafts a very basic page to load it. It is probably more accurate to describe these as drive-by download attacks, rather than exploit kits,” the researchers say. 

Related: New Spelevo Exploit Kit Spreads via B2B Website

Related: Exploit for Recent Flash Zero-Day Added to Fallout Exploit Kit

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join security experts as they discuss ZTNA’s untapped potential to both reduce cyber risk and empower the business.


Join Microsoft and Finite State for a webinar that will introduce a new strategy for securing the software supply chain.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.


A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...