CVE-2016-7200 & CVE-2016-7201 Edge flaws added to the Sundown Exploit Kit

Pierluigi Paganini January 10, 2017

The operators behind the Sundown exploit kit have started using two Microsoft Edge flaws just a few days after researchers published a PoC exploit.

The Sundown exploit kit is becoming one of the most popular crimeware kits in the hacking underground. The last time we saw it was at the end of 2016 when malware researchers spotted a new variant of the Sundown exploit kit leverages on steganography to hide exploit code in harmless-looking image files.

Recently cyber criminals added to the Sundown exploit kit two Edge vulnerabilities tracked as CVE-2016-7200 and CVE-2016-7201.

Both flaws were addressed by Microsoft with a security bulletin (MS16-129) issued in November 2016. The flaws reside in the way the Chakra JavaScript scripting engine handles objects and can trigger memory corruption.

A remote attacker can exploit the vulnerabilities to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user by tricking victims into visiting a specially crafted website.

On January 4, security experts at the firm Theori confirmed the availability of a PoC exploit for CVE-2016-7200 and CVE-2016-7201, just a few days and the code was included in the Sundown exploit kit.

The popular security researcher Kafeine confirmed the exploits being integrated by the Sundown exploit kit.

Sundown exploit kit

“The exploits are spotted first in Sundown, but integration in RIG/Empire/Neutrino/Magnitude/Kaixin should be a matter of hours/days.” explained Kafeine.

Crooks leveraged Sundown exploit kit to deliver mostly ZLoader, it was also used to deliver other malicious payloads, including Zeus Panda, Dreambot, Chthonic, Andromeda, Neutrino Bot, Betabot, Smokebot, Remcos, Kronos and a bitcoin min





rding to Malwarebytes Labs, a variant of the Sundown exploit kit was recently seen distributing a cryptocurrency Monero mining application.

“We recently encountered an atypical case of Sundown EK in the wild – usually the landing page is obfuscated, but in this case there was plain JavaScript. The exploit was dropping some malicious payloads” reads a blog post published by Malwarebytes Labs. 

Kafeine highlighted the fact that this is the first true innovation in the exploit kit landscape since 6 months, he also added that the criminal ecosystem lost its locomotive the “Angler EK.”

“After not far from 6 months without new exploit integrated in an EK ecosystem which has lost its innovation locomotive (Angler) , the drive-by landscape is struggling to stay in shape. Low infection rate means more difficulties to properly convert bought traffic.” added Kafeine.

Last time malware researchers observed the introduction of a fresh exploit code in an Exploit Kit was this summer when malware authors added the PoC for CVE-2016-0189 to the Neutrino exploit kit.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Sundown exploit kit, cybercrime)

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