The Angler exploit kit has been in the news a lot lately, with new variants popping up. What are the dangers of...
this hacking tool and how can they be mitigated on an enterprise level?
The Angler exploit kit is a standard exploit kit that has a modular framework for malware development and to manage the attack lifecycle. It has capabilities for hiding from antimalware detection -- such as making false calls to interact with the system and encrypting the data over the network -- to prevent it from being analyzed.
Angler can include multiple different vulnerabilities in the module depending on the target network and the exploits available; this makes customizing the malware easier and faster to adapt. Once the initial exploit is executed on an endpoint via a drive-by download, the Angler exploit kit runs its payload to infect the system with malware. It also has functionality for tracking which systems have been infected so the malware author can use these systems to send spam or other attacks.
One of the latest variants of the Angler exploit kit targeted three vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player.
Enterprises can mitigate the latest Angler risks by disabling Flash or using a network-based tool to block the malware, such as an intrusion prevention system or dedicated antimalware network tool.
Standard security control recommendations around securing endpoints are needed, such as keeping systems updated with the latest patches, securing configurations and using modern antimalware tools.
Not installing Flash on endpoints so they're not exposed to Flash vulnerabilities is also an option, or enterprises could potentially run Flash or Web browsers in a sandbox, making a Flash vulnerability more difficult to exploit.
Enterprise security awareness programs should include policies and information about using caution when opening attachments and clicking on links, but, of course, this goes in hand in hand with leveraging other technical controls.
Ask the Expert:
Want to ask Nick Lewis a question about enterprise threats? Submit your question now via email. (All questions are anonymous.)
Learn how to track and prevent crimeware attacks
Dig Deeper on Malware, virus, Trojan and spyware protection and removal
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
Kaspersky researchers found a new Android malware that can physically harm phones. Learn how this works and the steps to mitigate the attack with ... Continue Reading
The Zealot campaign discovered by F5 Networks uses the same Apache Struts vulnerability exploited in the Equifax breach. Learn how else it performs ... Continue Reading
Facebook Messenger is being used to reach more victims with a cryptojacking bot that Trend Micro researchers named Digimine. Learn how this bot works... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.