Beware ‘SearchNightmare,’ the Latest Microsoft Vulnerability
Last week, we covered “Follina,” the Microsoft security vulnerability affecting Microsoft Office documents. After you opened an affected Office document, a bad actor could potentially take control of your system. This week, the threat turns to “SearchNightmare,” another Microsoft vulnerability.
SearchNightmare is not unlike Follina: like the latter, SearchNightmare tricks the victim into opening a malicious document, such as Word doc. This time, however, that action will automatically launch a search window which has remotely-hosted malware executables. You can imagine a bad actor, impersonating a legitimate company, sending you an alert about a “necessary security update.” When you opened the attached word file, it would then immediately open this search window, allowing the bad actor to plant malware on your system.
Important security updates come from within your system, not from email or messages. You’ll see them available from your system settings, or from a notification from Mac or Windows. Of course, hackers won’t just pretend to be sending an important update: they’ll try any tactic in order to phish and trick you into installing malware.
If you receive an email or a message from someone you don’t know, do not open what they send you. If you receive a link, don’t click it: if you receive a word doc, don’t open it. Hackers have found ways to install malware once you interact with their link just once. After you open that word doc, for example, it can be too late.