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The Elderwood Project Brian Bowlby CompNet. Review of material on Symantec website (www.symantec.com)www.symantec.com

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Presentation on theme: "The Elderwood Project Brian Bowlby CompNet. Review of material on Symantec website (www.symantec.com)www.symantec.com"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Elderwood Project Brian Bowlby CompNet

2 Review of material on Symantec website (www.symantec.com)www.symantec.com prise/media/security_response/whitepapers/th e-elderwood-project.pdf elderwood-platform-fueling-2014-s-zero-day- attacks

3 What is the Elderwood Project (also called the Elderwood Platform)? A set of zero-day exploits that have been engineered and packaged in a “consumer-friendly” way to allow non-technical people to easily attack their targets. Name Elderwood comes from source code variable used by the attackers

4 What are zero-day exploits? Exploits that exist in the initial release of a software package Often unknown to the programmer(s) May be known, but too expensive or time consuming to correct Generally, serious vulnerabilities are rare (8 identified in 2011)

5 Which zero-day exploits are included? Adobe Flash Player Object Type Confusion Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE ) Adobe Flash Player Remote Code Execution Vulnerability(CVE ) Microsoft Internet Explorer Same ID Property Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE ) Microsoft XML Core Services Remote Code Execution Vulnerability(CVE )

6 Newer packages include exploits of these vulnerabilities Microsoft Internet Explorer Use-After-Free Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE ) Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE ) Adobe Flash Player and AIR Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE )

7 How are these vulnerabilities exploited? Two methods for propagating their payload – Spear-phishing Attach an infected document in an message – Watering hole attack Visitors of a web site are infected

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9 A third possibility – a combination of the above Send target user an with a link to an infected website Link can be unique for that user

10 Who is Behind Elderwood? High degree of technical sophistication – able to exploit many different vulnerabilities Once packaged, less technical groups can mount actual attacks – perhaps different group for each target Attacks are targeted – no mass campaigns Attackers are patient – may lie in wait for several months before adding malicious code

11 Components of Elderwood

12 Targets Defense – Companies that manufacture components for top-tier defense contractors NGOs and human rights groups (Amnesty International) Finance, Energy, Education and Government

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14 Recent Timeline of Elderwood Attacks

15 Groups using the Elderwood Platform

16 Takeaway Lessons Apply the latest patches/updates to your software Don’t open attachments unless you’re sure of the source Be careful when clicking on links in messages Check that URL matches “printed” one

17 Thanks / Questions?


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