Is the Chinese Government exploiting a hole in Office for Mac?

Chinese authorities may be exploiting a security hole in Microsoft Office for Mac to target the Uyghur people

According to Kaspersky and AlienVault Labs, Chinese authorities may be exploiting a security hole in Microsoft Office for Mac to target the Uyghur people, an ethnic group of people who live in parts of Asia and are seeking independence from Chinese rule.

The targeted attacks exploit an old Office for Mac vulnerability (CVE-2009-0563) that was actually fixed over three years ago.

Kaspersky says it has noticed a "significant spike in the number of attacks during Jan 2013 and Feb 2013, indicating the attackers are extremely active at the moment."

Phishing emails have been sent to the Uyghur community that include Microsoft Word documents, which once open, activate a Mac OS X backdoor that "would initiate a connection with the server, and its "tshd_put_file" function was configured to drop stolen data in the "/downloads/" directory located there", writes Kaspersky.

The hackers are able to remotely control the computer and spy on its user's activities.

One of the corrupt files details the "Concerns over Uyghur People's Fundamental Rights Under the New Chinese Leadership". The documents can be identified by the author name: "Captain".

Similar attacks have been reported against other ethnic groups, including the Tibetan people and Uighur activists.

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter

Related:

Mac backdoor used in attacks against Uighur activists

The worst security exploits, fails and blunders: 2012 in review

Security expert claims Apple will lose out to 'open, sexy, flexible' competitors

Kaspersky Security for Mac review

Mountain Lion and Gatekeeper: What you need to know

Flashback the wake up call Apple needed: Kaspersky

2014 ARN Women in ICT Awards - Nominate Now!: Nominations have opened for WIICTA 2014 and will stay open until October 22. But don't be late, be among the first in and NOMINATE NOW!!!

Tags MacapplicationssecurityMicrosoftsoftwareExploits / vulnerabilitiesOffice suites

More about AppleKasperskyMicrosoft

ARN Directory | Distributors relevant to this article

ARN Directory | Vendors relevant to this article

Comments

Comments are now closed

 

Latest News

03:26PM
Gigamon signs VARs to support Arrow distribution partnership
02:45PM
Revel forms tech alliance with Deputy
02:07PM
Avnet clinches Lenovo global distribution deal
01:46PM
Steve Wozniak to teach at UTS
More News
21 Oct
NewLease & Red Hat Breakfast Briefing (Melbourne)
21 Oct
DCIM Solutions Architect
22 Oct
NewLease & Microsoft Technical Sessions
23 Oct
NewLease & Red Hat Breakfast Briefing (Sydney)
View all events