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More users attacked via old Microsoft Office vulnerability in Q2: Report

IANS | August 16, 2022 03:37 PM

NEW DELHI: The number of exploits for vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office suite increased, accounting for 82 per cent of the total number of exploits across different platforms and software, such as Adobe Flash, Android, Java etc in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, a report said on Tuesday.

According to a report by Kaspersky, old versions of applications remain the main targets for attackers, with almost 547, 000 users in total being affected through corresponding vulnerabilities in the last quarter.

Moreover, the number of users affected by the Microsoft MSHTML Remote Code Execution vulnerability, which was previously spotted in targeted attacks, skyrocketed eight times.

"Since the vulnerability is quite easy to use, we expect an increase in its exploitation. Criminals craft malicious documents and convince their victims to open them through social engineering techniques, " Alexander Kolesnikov, malware analyst at Kaspersky, said in a statement.

"The Microsoft Office application then downloads and executes a malicious script. To be on the safe side, it is vital to install the vendor's patch, use security solutions capable of detecting vulnerability exploitation, and to keep employees aware of modern cyberthreats, " Kolesnikov added.

Kaspersky experts found that exploits for the vulnerability, designated CVE-2021-40444, were used to attack almost 5, 000 people in Q2, which is eight times more than during Q1.

This zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer's engine MSHTML was first reported in September 2021.

The engine is a system component used by Microsoft Office applications to handle web content. When exploited, it enables the remote execution of malicious code on victims' computers.

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