New Research Finds Phishing Scams Targeting Popular PDF Viewer

Depositphotos_48038577_XLSeveral phishing campaigns are targeting users of the Foxit PDF Reader, according to researchers at Check Point. Foxit is a popular alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing PDF files.

“Check Point Research has identified an unusual pattern of behavior involving PDF exploitation, mainly targeting users of Foxit Reader,” the researchers write. “This exploit triggers security warnings that could deceive unsuspecting users into executing harmful commands.

"Check Point Research has observed variants of this exploit being actively utilized in the wild. Its low detection rate is attributed to the prevalent use of Adobe Reader in most sandboxes or antivirus solutions, as Adobe Reader is not susceptible to this specific exploit. Additionally, Check Point Research has observed various exploit builders, ranging from those coded in .NET to those written in Python, being used to deploy this exploit.”

The malicious PDFs attempt to trick users into granting permission to execute code on the user’s device. The pop-ups that request permission are set to “OK” by default, making it more likely that users will simply accept the request. Check Point has observed at least nine strains of malware being delivered by this technique.

“This exploit has been used by multiple threat actors, from e-crime to espionage,” the researchers write. “The campaigns have taken advantage of the low detection rate and protection against this exploit where actors have been spotted sharing those malicious PDF files even using nontraditional means such as Facebook.”

Check Point offers the following recommendations to help users avoid falling for these attacks:

  • “Keep operating systems and applications updated through timely patches and other means
  • Be cautious of unexpected emails with links, especially from unknown senders
  • Enhance cybersecurity awareness among employees
  • Consult security specialists for any doubts or uncertainties”

New-school security awareness training can give your organization an essential layer of defense against social engineering attacks. KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Check Point has the story.

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