iViZ’s “Green Cloud Security” discovers vulnerabilities in many antivirus software
iViZ, an information security company that offers “Green Cloud Security”, the world’s only on-demand penetration testing for applications, networks and compliance, has announced that it has discovered new classes of vulnerabilities in many popular commercial and open source antivirus software. These vulnerabilities can potentially allow attackers to break into systems using such antivirus software.
Bala Girisaballa, Vice President, Head of Product Management and Marketing explained how hackers can target a seemingly secure system and break into it by exploiting its antivirus software. “An attacker first crafts an email with malicious payload and sends it to the target user. When the email is scanned by the vulnerable antivirus software it can either crash the antivirus software or execute arbitrary code resulting in complete security bypass and remote system compromise” he added.
iViZ “Green Cloud Security” Vulnerability Research team conducts extensive research on new vulnerability discovery and attack techniques. Using variety of file fuzzing techniques it has discovered abnormal behavior in several security tools when handling complex or unusual executable header data especially in the case of executables packed with 3rd party packers like UPX, FSG etc. In such events, multiple bugs were found in antivirus software while processing malformed packed executables. Some of these bugs proved to be security vulnerabilities which could make the antivirus itself as a back door for hackers. The affected antivirus software vendors were informed of this anomalous behavior.
The affected software include many popular commercial and open source antivirus software such as AVG, F-Secure (F-Prot), Sophos, ClamAV, BitDefender & Avast. Other software could also be vulnerable. Organizations can learn more on technical details, potential impact and remediation recommendations on iViZ “Green Cloud Security” website https://www.greencloudsecurity.com/.
To ensure user security iViZ “Green Cloud Security” follows the practice of responsible disclosure. The vulnerability details are disclosed first to the affected vendor before being made public. Bikash Barai said “We work closely with the vendors to help them with details and also in developing the solution. The vulnerability is disclosed in public only after coordinating with vendors and ensuring their users’ safety. To ensure that our research cannot be maliciously used by attackers, the proof of concept exploits that demonstrate such real attacks in public are not released.”
Companies and businesses in sectors such as banking, finance and insurance, IT/ITES and consulting, online retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, telecommunications, R&D, media among others are highly susceptible to such risks and should make it mandatory to conduct periodic penetration testing to assess the security of their systems and networks. Networks and Applications could include off-the-shelf products (operating systems, applications, databases, networking equipment etc), bespoke development (dynamic web sites, in-house applications etc) and wireless (WIFI, Bluetooth, IR, GSM, and RFID).
Introducing Green Cloud Security and highlighting on how organizations can safeguard themselves against these emerging threats, Bikash Barai, CEO iViZ said, “Regular periodic penetration testing can help companies combat the constantly evolving vulnerabilities and threats. Today there is a need for a more educated and alert user, and a vision to look beyond conventional security mechanisms in corporate information security.”