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As mentioned in the post, “Happy Nucl(y)ear - Evolution of an Exploit Kit”, we were planning to discuss the Angler exploit kit in detail in an upcoming post. However, the exploitation of a critical Adobe Flash 0-day vulnerability (CVE-2015-0311, patched) via the Angler exploit kit has fast-tracked our efforts and in this blog, we present the strategy adopted by the exploit kit to evade detection of the 0-day by security scanners. 0-days are valuable commodities and the longer they remain undiscovered, the more value they appropriate for the attacker(s).
Just as defense-in-depth is used as a strategy in the protection scenario, layered obfuscation is its equivalent in the evasion scenario. The attacker is interested in adopting a defense-in-depth approach to protect his / her investment and get the most ROI from exploits. A parallel in the physical world is a medieval castle which was protected by multiple wall system, so even when the external wall had taken down by catapults the so called inner castle was still standing strong.
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