There’s a zero-day exploit in the wild that’s being used to execute malicious code on the computers of people using Tor and possibly other users of the Firefox browser, officials of the anonymity service confirmed Tuesday.
Attackers wield Firefox exploit to uncloak anonymous Tor users
According to security researchers who analyzed the code, it exploits a memory corruption vulnerability that allows malicious code to be executed on computers running Windows. The malicious payload it delivers, according to an independent researcher who goes by the Twitter handle @TheWack0lian, is almost identical to one that was used in 2013 to deanonymize people visiting a Tor-shielded child pornography site. The FBI ultimately acknowledged responsibility for the exploit, which was embedded in Web pages served by a service known as Freedom Hosting.
“It’s basically almost EXACTLY the same as the payload used in 2013,” TheWack0lian told Ars. “It exploits some vuln that executes code very similar to that used in the 2013 Tor browser exploit. Most of the code is identical, just small parts have changed.”
Analysis of the 2013 attack is here. Where that attack sent a unique identifier to a server located at the IP address of 184.108.40.206, the new one sends data to a server at 220.127.116.11. The latter IP address is assigned to French Web host OVH. It wasn’t responding to queries at the time this post was being prepared.
This post will be updated in the coming hours in the event important new details become available.
Dan is the Security Editor at Ars Technica, which he joined in 2012 after working for The Register, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
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