CVE-2024-21412: DarkGate Operators Exploit Microsoft Windows SmartScreen Bypass in Zero-Day Campaign


The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) recently uncovered a DarkGate campaign in mid-January 2024, which exploited CVE-2024-21412 through the use of fake software installers.

During this campaign, users were lured using PDFs that contained Google DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) open redirects that led unsuspecting victims to compromised sites hosting the Microsoft Windows SmartScreen bypass CVE-2024-21412 that led to malicious Microsoft (.MSI) installers. The phishing campaign employed open redirect URLs from Google Ad technologies to distribute fake Microsoft software installers (.MSI) masquerading as legitimate software, including Apple iTunes, Notion, NVIDIA, and others. The fake installers contained a sideloaded DLL file that decrypted and infected users with a DarkGate malware payload.

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Source: Trend Micro