Exploitation of the CVE-2021-40444 vulnerability in MSHTML

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Summary

Last week, Microsoft reported the remote code execution vulnerability CVE-2021-40444 in the MSHTML browser engine. According to the company, this vulnerability has already been used in targeted attacks against Microsoft Office users. In attempt to exploit this vulnerability, attackers create a document with a specially-crafted object. If a user opens the document, MS Office will download and execute a malicious script.
According to our data, the same attacks are still happening all over the world. We are currently seeing attempts to exploit the CVE-2021-40444 vulnerability targeting companies in the research and development sector, the energy sector and large industrial sectors, banking and medical technology development sectors, as well as telecommunications and the IT sector. Due to its ease of exploitation and the few published Proof-of-Concept (PoC), we expect to see an increase in attacks using this vulnerability.

Geography of CVE-2021-40444 exploitation attempts

Kaspersky is aware of targeted attacks using CVE-2021-40444, and our products protect against attacks leveraging the vulnerability. Possible detection names are:

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