IE Zero-Day Used in Chinese Cyber Assault on 34 Firms

Updated Hackers who breached the defences of Google, Adobe Systems and at least 32 other companies used a potent vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer to carry out at least some of the attacks, researchers from McAfee said Thursday. The previously unknown flaw in the IE browser was probably just one of the vectors used in the attacks, McAfee CTO George Kurtz wrote in a blog post. Using a sophisticated spear-phishing campaign, the perpetrators included malicious links exploiting the bug in emails and instant messages sent to employees from at least three of the targeted companies. Contrary to previous speculation, there was no evidence vulnerabilities in Adobe’s Reader or Acrobat applications were used in any of the attacks, Kurtz said. In its own statement, Adobe concurred, saying researchers have not been able to obtain any evidence to indicate that Adobe Reader or other Adobe technologies were used as the attack vector in this incident. Kurtz said his findings were based on malware samples taken from three to five of the targeted companies and he stressed that other zero days or exploits could have been used against other victims

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