Malicious shortcuts: now documents and webpages are risky too

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

There’s more bad news for those troubled by the Microsoft zero-day vulnerability that allows a Windows shortcut link, known as an .LNK file, to run malicious code whenever Windows displays their icon.

The Shortcut exploit is well known to be capable of spreading via USB sticks, network and remote WebDav shares.

But the latest version of Microsoft’s security advisory on the subject also warns that a malicious shortcut file can be embedded on a website (meaning that users who visit the page via Internet Explorer could be infected) or hidden inside documents.

It has also become apparent that .PIF files can also be exploited by the vulnerability, as well as .LNK files.

This vulnerability isn’t just ugly, it’s ugly as sin.

And don’t forget – the code for how to exploit this vulnerability has been published…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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