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Category: Malware

Type: Exploit

Aliases: Exploit:W32/WormLink.[variant], Exploit:Win32/CplLnk.A (Microsoft)


Exploit:W32/WormLink is a generic detection for malicious shortcut (.LNK) files embedded in a document file that can exploit the CVE-2010-2568 vulnerability in various versions of Windows.

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Technical Details

Exploit:W32/WormLink identifies malicious shortcut LNK files designed to exploit the known CVE-2010-2568 vulnerability in the Windows Shell program of various versions of Microsoft Windows (XP SP3, Server 2003 SP2, Vista SP1 and SP2, Server 2008 SP2 and R2, and Windows 7).

The CVE-2010-2568 vulnerability was most notable for being the flaw used by the stealth threat Stuxnet to gain access to target systems, though it has also since been leveraged by other malware families.

Exploit:W32/WormLink was first seen in 2010 spreading via infected removable drives. In this scenario, simply browsing to the removable media drive using an application that displays shortcut icons (like Windows Explorer) will cause the system to automatically execute the malware as soon as the LNK file is read.

The malicious LNK files may also be distributed embedded in document files that support embedded shortcuts. The most common type of document file with this functionality is Microsoft Word files, though other document types are possible. The bait documents are typically distributed as attachments to email messages. If the user opens the attached document and the operating system attempts to resolve the shortcut file's icon, the vulnerability is triggered and associate malicious payload (which is contained in a separate component or file) is executed. The user does not need to click on the shortcut icon itself for the exploit to run.

For more information about the CVE-2010-2568 vulnerability, see:

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