There are plenty of examples of why organizations need to update technology and apply patches.
Take the latest version of the RIG exploit kit. It is taking advantage of outdated versions of applications such as Flash, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge to distribute the Cerber ransomware, researchers said.
The attack leverages malicious domains to launch drive-by attacks against unsuspecting visitors and preys on their failure to update applications in a timely manner, said Andra Zaharia, a security evangelist at Heimdal Security, in a blog post.
As long as they use outdated browsers or plugins that contain known vulnerabilities, they are likely to end up infected with malware.
As part of the attack, attackers compromise websites to inject malicious scripts that don’t even require user interaction for a successful infection. Only outdated versions of Flash Player, Silverlight, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the focus of the attack, Zaharia said.
RIG exploits one of eight vulnerabilities, including CVE-2015-8651 (CVSS Score: 9.1), CVE-2015-5122 (CVSS Score: 10, affects nearly 100 Flash versions), CVE-2016-4117 (CVSS Score: 10), CVE-2016-1019 (CVSS Score: 10), CVE-2016-7200 and CVE-2016-7201 (both CVSS Score: 7.6, affecting Microsoft Edge), CVE-2016-3298 (CVSS Score: 3.6, affects Internet Explorer versions 9, 10, 11), and CVE-2016-0034 (CVSS Score: 9.3).
After compromising a user’s computer, the exploit kit proceeds to downloading and installing the Cerber ransomware, one of the most prolific threats last year. The malware encrypts a user’s files and demands a ransom for the decryption key.
Zaharia said the one thing users must do to ensure increased protection is to keep their software updated at all times. Applying security updates in a timely manner is at the heart of prevention when it comes to exploit kit attacks.