Cylance announced the discovery of a new attack with the capacity to leverage automated HTTP requests sent by background applications.
Here is the Comment from Rapid7’s HD Moore, Chief Research Officer, on how the attack works and what the research tells us:
“This is a novel attack that can be easily abused to significantly increase the exploitability of Windows client systems communicating on untrusted or compromised networks. While tools like KARMA, Metasploit, and Responder.py depend on the user to make a SMB connection back to the attacker, the Cylance research improves on the attack by abusing how HTTP redirects are handled by callers of the URLMon API.
The Cylance research shows that instead of waiting for the user to open their browser or manually connect to a network share, an attacker can look for automated HTTP requests sent by background applications and redirect these to file:// URLs, triggering a SMB connection and automatic authentication. Given how many applications a typical laptop or tablet has running in the background, this can drastically speed up SMB capture and relay attacks against Windows-based laptops and tablets connecting to insecure wireless networks.
On a Windows 8.1 laptop, at least 50 different HTTP connections were made after a restart and within 5 minutes, most of which could be hijacked by a network-local attacker to force SMB authentication to a malicious service. The source of these connections ranged from OEM “update” checks to weather and news applications”.
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