After creating a fake news website, suspected Pakistani hackers emailed various Indian officials in mid-May with messages containing a malicious Microsoft Word document that had been crafted to exploit a 4-year-old vulnerability affecting Windows computers, researchers at FireEye wroteon the security firm’s blog this week.
The emails were sent so that they would appear to come from the “News Desk” at the Times of India, and recipients were advised to download an attachment to read a report purportedly concerning the 7th Pay Commission, a financial advisory group intermittently established by the Indian government.
“These Commissions periodically review the pay structure for Indian government and military personnel, a topic that would be of interest to government employees,” wrote Yin Hong Chang and Sudeep Singh of FireEye.
Instead of containing legitimate information, however, the malformed attachments were designed in a manner that put anyone who opened the file at risk of being hacked.
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