French Aerospace Firm Under Attack

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 07:02 PM gHale


Hackers hit French aerospace engine maker Snecma after exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, a researcher said.

It was not clear how successful the hackers had been in their efforts to breach Snecma’s network, according to the researcher, who has studied malicious software and infrastructure used by the hackers.

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A spokeswoman for Snecma’s parent, Safran, had no immediate comment.

The researcher, an unnamed source speaking to Reuters, said the malicious software used by the hackers contained code that identified Internet domain names belonging to Snecma. The researcher declined to be identified by name as he was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The vulnerability in Internet Explorer surfaced last week, when California-based cybersecurity firm FireEye said hackers had leveraged a previously unknown security flaw in the Web browser to attack the website of the U.S. nonprofit group Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Microsoft last week advised customers to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, saying versions 9 and 10 were vulnerable to the type of attacks identified by FireEye.

On Tuesday, the Israeli cyber security firm Seculert said in a blog post the IE vulnerability ended up used to attack a French aerospace company, though it did not name that company. Seculert said the attack likely began on January 17 and that it may still be going on.

The malware design was to help hackers steal credentials by infecting devices that employees, partners and third-party vendors used to remotely access the French company’s network, according to Seculert.

That technique of targeting remote users has seen action in some high-profile cyber attacks in recent years.



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