My apologies for not posting a new blog entry in such a long time. A busy work schedule, business trips and the holidays thrown in for good measure prevented me from paying as much attention to the blog as I should have.
Well, we are one month into the new year now. Worms and viruses keep coming at us. One vulnerability, which was discussed in great length in recent weeks was the so-called WMF (Windows Meta File) flaw. Merely by visiting a compromised web-site, a user's PC could already be infected.
Interestingly, in September of last year I wrote an article about the possibility of an emerging black-market for vulnerabilities. The idea is that certain individuals are willing to pay money to get their hands on exploits, which allow them to compromise more machines. These machines can then be used for lucrative businesses, such as spam, p0rn hosting, DDoS attacks, click-fraud, etc.
Today eWeek reported that the WMF exploit was available for money, in exactly this black-market for vulnerabilities, weeks before security researchers even knew about it. For $4000 the exploit was offered in the middle of December last year by Russian hacker groups. Here is an interesting quote from the article:
There are dozens of these sites with hackers offering zero-day code for sale all the time. They even have a mechanism to test the code to make sure it is legitimate and will get past anti-virus software.
The lesson we can learn from this is: Zero-day attacks will remain a threat to our network and computer security. Therefore, we will continue to see attacks that manage to evade signature based security solutions.