Security Research


All users of vulnerable versions of the Microsoft Windows Server are encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of this software. Additionally, organizations that have deployed Fortinet IPS solutions are already protected from this vulnerability. [Read More]
by RSS Honggang Ren  |  Mar 23, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
On March 16, FortiGuard Labs captured a new Word file that spreads malware by executing malicious VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code. The sample targeted both Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows systems. We then analyzed the sample, and in this blog we are going to explain how it works, step by step. When the Word file is opened, it shows notifies victims to enable the Macro security option, which allows the malicious VBA code to be executed. Malicious Word File is Opened Figure 1. Asks victim to enable Macro security option Once... [Read More]
by RSS Xiaopeng Zhang & Chris Navarrete  |  Mar 22, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
Over the last few months we discovered and reported multiple vulnerabilities found in different versions of Microsoft Word. These vulnerabilities were patched in the January (MS17-002) and March (MS17-014) security updates. These patches are rated as important, and as always, we suggest users update Microsoft Office as soon as possible. [Read More]
by RSS Tony Loi and Wayne Chin Yick Low  |  Mar 21, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
IP cameras were the second most attacked devices in 2015, at around 363,000 hits. But in 2016 the number dropped to approximately 36,000 hits [Read More]
by RSS Gavin Chow  |  Mar 20, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
Introduction Fortinet recently discovered a new botnet capable of stealing large amounts of user information, as well as remotely manipulating compromised machines. The malware appears to be based on an older botnet known as Grabbot, which was first discovered back in November of 2014[1]. This new variant improves on that existing functionality while adding several dangerous new features. This blog aims to offer a quick insight into how Grabbot functions. Replication The bot can be found hosted on a number of compromised websites with a... [Read More]
by RSS David Wang and He Xu  |  Mar 17, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
Ztorg, also known as Qysly, is one of those big families of Android malware. It first appeared in April 2015, and now has over 25 variants, some of which are still active in 2017. Yet, there aren't many technical descriptions for it - except for the initial Ztorg.A sample - so I decided to have a look at one of the newer variants, Android/Ztorg.AM!tr, that we detected on January 20, 2017. The sample poses a "Cool Video Player" and its malicious activity was so well hidden I initially thought I had run into... [Read More]
by RSS Axelle Apvrille  |  Mar 15, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
In the part 1 of this blog, we saw that Android/Ztorg.AM!tr silently downloads a remote encrypted APK, then installs it and launches a method named c() in the n.a.c.q class. In this blog post, we’ll investigate what this does. This is the method c() of n.a.c.q: This prints "world," then waits for 200 seconds before starting a thread named n.a.c.a. I'll spare you a few hops, but among the first things we notice is that the sample uses the same string obfuscation routine, except this time it is not... [Read More]
by RSS Axelle Apvrille  |  Mar 15, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
In our last post [Round up of 2016 IoT Threats] we compared 2015 and 2016 global threat telemetry for IoT devices collected by our FortiGuard Labs. In this post, we will examine why home routers had a such a huge increase in IPS signature hits in 2016, when compared to 2015. Home Routers In 2015, home routers had the most IPS signature hits at around 821,000. But this number exploded exponentially in 2016, to more than 25 billion hits. We can see the exponential increase more clearly when we compare both years using a size comparison chart... [Read More]
by RSS Gavin Chow  |  Mar 13, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
Over the last few years we have received a number of emails with attached Word files that spread malware.  Now it seems that it is becoming more and more popular to spread malware using malicious Excel files. Lately, Fortinet has collected a number of email samples with Excel files attached (.xls, .xlsm) that spread malware by executing malicious VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code. VBA is a programming language used by Microsoft Office suite. Normally, VBA is used to develop programs for Excel to perform some tasks. I’ll use... [Read More]
by RSS Xiaopeng Zhang  |  Mar 08, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research
Attacks targeting and originating from IoT devices began grabbing news headlines toward the last quarter of 2016. Insecure IoT devices became the low-hanging fruit for threat actors to easily exploit. Some were even notoriously used as botnets to launch DDoS attacks against selected targets. For example, the infamous Mirai botnet exploited weak login vulnerabilities in insecure IoT devices such as IP cameras and home routers, and was responsible for one of the largest known DDoS attacks to date. Besides being used in DDoS attacks, exploited IoT... [Read More]
by RSS Gavin Chow  |  Mar 06, 2017  |  Filed in: Security Research