Two Zero-Day Exploits Found After Someone Uploaded ‘Unarmed’ PoC to VirusTotal
Security researchers at Microsoft have unveiled details of two critical and important zero-day vulnerabilities that had recently been discovered after someone uploaded a malicious PDF file to VirusTotal, and get patched before being used in the wild.
In late March, researchers at ESET found a malicious PDF file on VirusTotal, which they shared with the security team at Microsoft “as a potential exploit for an unknown Windows kernel vulnerability.”
After analyzing the malicious PDF file, the Microsoft team found that the same file includes two different zero-day exploits—one for Adobe Acrobat and Reader, and the other targeting Microsoft Windows.
Since the patches for both the vulnerabilities were released in the second week of May, Microsoft released details of both the vulnerabilities today, after giving users enough time to update their vulnerable operating systems and Adobe software.
According to the researchers, the malicious PDF including both the zero-days exploit was in the early development stage, “given the fact that the PDF itself did not deliver a malicious payload and appeared to be proof-of-concept (PoC) code.”
It seems someone who could have combined both the zero-days to build an extremely powerful cyber weapon had unintentionally and mistakenly lost the game by uploading his/her under-development exploit to VirusTotal.
The zero-day vulnerabilities in question are a remote code execution flaw in Adobe Acrobat and Reader (CVE-2018-4990) and a privilege escalation bug in Microsoft Windows (CVE-2018-8120).
Source | thehackernews