The essence of the new business model is that exploit developers can rent them out to several partners at once.
Mostly hidden in personal correspondence, the economics of exploits on cybercrime forums sometimes seeps into the outside world, shedding light on the thickness of the cybercriminals’ wallet. Some groups even claim they have multimillion dollar sums at their disposal, which they are willing to shell out for zero-day vulnerabilities. However, hackers with smaller budgets may be able to exploit such vulnerabilities if exploit-as-a-service becomes a reality.
Very often potential buyers are willing to pay exorbitant sums for vulnerabilities, both new and old. For example, in early May 2021, one of the users of the cybercriminal forum announced that he was ready to pay $ 25,000 for a PoC exploit for a critical vulnerability in Pulse Secure VPN (CVE-2021-22893). Another buyer offered up to $ 3 million for remote code execution vulnerabilities in Windows 10 and Linux, the exploitation of which does not require any action on the part of the victim (the so-called zero-click).
The same user also offered up to $ 150K for an ingenious solution that would allow malware to run after every Windows 10 restart.
By comparison, exploit resale company Zerodium is offering up to $ 1 million for a zero-click vulnerability in Windows 10. The largest amount it is willing to pay is $ 2.5 million for a full chain of zero-click vulnerabilities in Android. For the same chain for iOS, the company agrees to give $ 2 million.
Buyers of exploits on the black market came to the attention of researchers of the information security company Digital Shadows, who decided in more detail to examine this question. In the course of their research, they met buyers willing to buy zero-day vulnerabilities at a price of $ 10 million. Moreover, such money is now offered not only by government-funded hackers, but also by self-employed cybercriminals who are hungry for profit, including ransomware operators.
Be that as it may, the conclusion of such a large deal may take too long, and during this period other developers may offer their exploits, which will ultimately lead to a decrease in price. Therefore, cybercriminals began to discuss the concept of “exploit as a service”. Its essence is to allow exploit developers to rent out their tools to several partners at once. Such a solution would allow them to make good profits until a worthy buyer appears. In turn, potential buyers will have the opportunity to test the tool and decide whether to buy it or not.
As with the malware-as-as-service business model, the new service will allow less experienced hackers to carry out more sophisticated attacks.
Vulnerability found in the Apple M1 processor that cannot be closed programmatically
Specialists from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that they were able to develop a PACMAN attack technique, which is possible due to a hardware vulnerability in the Apple M1 processor. Moreover, it cannot be closed by software.
The attack itself is carried out using software and hardware, and it can be performed remotely. The PACMAN attack makes it possible to gain access to the kernel of the operating system. At the same time, potentially the same vulnerabilities can be in Qualcomm and Samsung processors, but this has not yet been confirmed.
The technical side of the attack is based on the Pointer Authentication function. It is used to check Pointer Authentication Codes (PACs), allowing only code-signed software to run. However, the PACMAN method allows you to select the necessary PAC values. In part, this technique is similar to Specter and Meltdown in Intel processors.
At the same time, Apple spokesman Scott Radcliffe said that the vulnerability does not pose an immediate threat to users and is not sufficient in itself to bypass operating system protections.
A few years ago, a vulnerability was already found in Arm processors that allows an attacker to gain unauthorized access to data.
So much for Unisoc. Companies have discovered a vulnerability in single-chip systems
Unisoc is actively capturing the market for single-chip systems, although it does so exclusively in the budget segment itself. However, it turned out that these platforms have a critical vulnerability.
According to the source, the problem is in the modem’s firmware and affects both 4G and 5G platforms. The vulnerability, numbered CVE-2022-20210, was discovered while scanning Non-Access Stratum (NAS) message handlers. This vulnerability could be used to neutralize or block the device’s cellular capabilities.
The vulnerability was first discovered in the Motorola Moto G20 smartphone based on the Unisoc T700 SoC. But in the end it turned out that the same vulnerability occurs in other platforms, however, the source did not provide a list.
The Check Point specialists who discovered the vulnerability notified Unisoc back in May, and the company has already released a fix, so smartphone owners should not worry now if they update the software of their devices.
New vulnerability in Microsoft Office is heavily exploited by hackers
A serious vulnerability has been found in the Microsoft Office suite that could potentially allow attackers to execute arbitrary code.
She was assigned the number CVE-2022-30190, and among the researchers they gave the name Follina. As noted in Kaspersky Lab, the most unpleasant thing is that there is no fix yet, and in the meantime, the vulnerability is already being actively exploited by attackers. Vulnerability CVE-2022-30190 threatens all operating systems of the Windows family, both regular and server.
While the update is being developed, experts recommend that all Windows users and administrators take advantage of temporary workarounds. As a Microsoft workaround recommends disable the MSDT URL protocol.
The CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability itself is contained in the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT), but due to the implementation of this tool, a single malicious office document is enough to exploit the vulnerability.
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