We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,470 News Articles

Microsoft Access threat escalates

Toolkit updated to take advantage of MS bug

An easy-to-use toolkit used to hack computers has now been updated to take advantage of an unpatched security vulnerability in Microsoft's software, which could mean attacks will intensify, according to vendor Symantec.

The Neosploit toolkit is one of several on the internet that can be used by less-technical hackers to compromise machines. Symantec said it has detected on its network of internet sensors that Neosploit can take advantage of a vulnerability revealed early last week in Microsoft's Access database program.

"Further analysis of these honeypot compromises has revealed that the exploit has been added to a variant of the Neosploit exploit kit, it will very likely reach a larger number of victims," according to an entry on the company's ThreatCon advisory board.

Microsoft Access 2007 review

Microsoft hasn't patched the bug yet, and the company just issued its patches for the month on July 8. The vulnerability is within the Snapshot Viewer ActiveX control, which launches a viewer for Microsoft Access reports that doesn't require running the Access software itself.

The vulnerability poses a special danger since the ActiveX control is digitally signed by Microsoft, which means that people who have Internet Explorer configured to trust ActiveX controls with that designation would run it automatically if encountered on a web page.

Some of the web pages that have already been hacked with automated SQL injection attacks earlier this year are also hosting the Microsoft Access attack, according to Symantec's Sean Hittel.

"As is the case with most of these ActiveX attacks, they are being served by traditional websites that have themselves fallen victim to automated SQL injection attacks," Hittel wrote on a Symantec forum. "In the past, we have seen government, commercial, and hobby sites fall victim to these SQL injection attacks and subsequently begin serving exploits to each of their visitors."

The problematic viewer accompanies all supported versions of Microsoft Office Access except Microsoft Access 2007.

See Security Advisor for updates on the latest security threats to your PC Microsoft has offered suggestions in a security advisory to prevent attacks until a patch is available.


IDG UK Sites

Sony PlayStation 5 release date, price and specs UK: When is the PS5 coming out?

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV release date rumours, features: 'new Apple TV next week' rumour

IDG UK Sites

Mobile email is powerful and useful - but also hopelessly intrusive

IDG UK Sites

How the Oculus Rift VR headset is helping train the surgeons of tomorrow