Hackers Attacking Foxit PDF Reader Users To steal Sensitive Data

Researchers identified a PDF exploit targeting Foxit Reader users that uses a design flaw that presents security warnings with a default “OK” option, potentially tricking users into executing malicious code. 

The exploit is actively being used and bypasses typical detection methods due to its focus on Foxit Reader, a lesser-known PDF viewer compared to the industry-standard Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

Due to a design flaw in its warning messages, Foxit Reader has a serious security vulnerability that can trick users into unknowingly jeopardizing their security if they click it twice without giving it careful consideration. 

Hackers Attacking Foxit PDF Reader Users To steal Sensitive Data
Default option triggering malicious command.

The exploit grants attackers the ability to download and execute malicious code from a remote server, potentially giving them unauthorized access to a user’s system and data.

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The vulnerability has been actively exploited in real-world attacks for various malicious purposes, including espionage and e-crime.

APT-C-35 (DoNot Team) is likely behind a major exploit campaign targeting both Windows and Android. 

The attackers use the exploit to deploy various malware families, including VenomRAT, Agent-Tesla, Remcos, NjRAT, NanoCore RAT, Pony, Xworm, AsyncRAT, and DCRat, which allows them to control compromised devices and potentially bypass two-factor authentication (2FA). 

Attack Chain.

Check Point Research discovered an attack campaign, possibly distributed through Facebook, that employed a multi-stage attack chain, which likely involved clicking a malicious link that led to an information stealer and two cryptocurrency miners being dropped onto the victim’s machine. 

In a separate incident, they identified a threat actor, @silentkillertv, who used two linked PDF files, one hosted on the legitimate website Trello, to deliver malware and was also known to sell malicious tools, as they advertised this exploit on April 27th. 

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They uncovered builder tools used by attackers to generate malicious PDFs exploiting a specific vulnerability, which primarily delivered PowerShell payloads by downloading them from a remote server and then executing them on the target machine. 

In some cases, the builders were configured for different commands, suggesting flexibility in the attacker’s arsenal. 

PDF Commands Executed Analysis.

A recently identified vulnerability in Foxit PDF Reader allows attackers to bypass traditional security measures by leveraging user trust.

Unlike classical exploits, this one relies on social engineering, manipulating users into clicking “OK” on permission pop-ups without understanding the risks. 

The technique has flown under the radar for years because security solutions often focus on the more popular Adobe Reader, as the lack of detection allows malicious PDFs to be easily distributed and bypass traditional security measures, while Foxit has acknowledged the issue and plans to address it in a future update.

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Author: Guru baran