“Outsmarting the Cyber Boogie-Man: Understanding the Novel ‘MalDoc in PDF’ Antivirus Evasion Method”

“Outsmarting the Cyber Boogie-Man: Understanding the Novel ‘MalDoc in PDF’ Antivirus Evasion Method”

Malware Sneaks In Via Stacked PDFs: Embedding Word Docs Hacks New Path

MalDoc in PDF Technique

The cybersecurity world never sleeps, and the boogie-man that goes bump in the byte is stirring once again. Researchers have spotlighted a novel antivirus evasion method that involves posing malicious Microsoft Word files as harmless PDF files. That’s right, it’s like a Trojan Horse, except it’s a malicious document hiding inside a PDF. Who knew that PDFs were more than just a pain to edit?

Unfolding the MalDoc in PDF Attack

Dubbed ‘MalDoc in PDF’ by the fine folks at JPCERT/CC, this undercover operation was spotted in action in a real-world attack in July 2023. The trick involved in this method is pretty crafty, folks. A file created with ‘MalDoc in PDF’ reveals its wicked smile in MS Word, even though it dresses up in the costume of a PDF. Do remember not to judge a file by its extension!

JPCERT/CC’s Insight:

The masters at JPCERT/CC shared that a file dressed as a PDF can code-switch to MS Word. What this means in non-tech terms: it looks innocent, promises you a soothing read, then suddenly pops up in Word, showing its true colour…uh, code! Seriously, folks, this is no friendly magic trick, this is what we call an illusionist’s nightmare!

Summary:

In the cyber-realm of smoke and mirrors, a new threat has emerged: ‘MalDoc in PDF’. This antivirus evasion method involves embedding a malicious Word file into a PDF. Researchers noted this sneaky tactic, being used in a real-world attack in July 2023, that involves a file created with ‘MalDoc in PDF’ retaining the ability to open in MS Word, despite bearing the superficial appearance of a PDF. Plot twist: just like a computer science major at a party, it’s not what it appears to be at first glance.

Original Article: https://thehackernews.com/2023/09/beware-of-maldoc-in-pdf-new-polyglot.html


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