Feeds

.Net may lead to fewer viruses

But different threats

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Virus Bulletin Antivirus vendors will have to significantly redesign their products in order to address risks of malicious code arising from the release of Microsoft's .Net platform.

The change of computing model to Web services that comes with .Net will almost undoubtedly create fresh infection mechanisms for virus writers to exploit.

In particular .Net will create new files called Common Language Runtime (CLR), which contain executable code known as Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), which vendors agree is not yet addressed by AV products.

Eric Chien, of Symantec, said that the security models to be introduced with .Net, may actually result in a drop of the number of new incidents of malicious code, so the issue is one of different vectors of infection coming into play.

Richard Wang, a virus analyst at Sophos, said the challenge for antivirus developers is to viral code would not need to be in a file, so a .Net virus might contain only something that specifies where malicious code comes from. This means AV protection must, in some way, inspect the remote code.

Viruses that infect .Net binaries, Trojans written in .Net languages and malicious code taking advantages of .Net services are all possible.

Because MSIL is designed as a cross platform language along the lines of the Java model, it might allow "viruses to propagate to operating systems that were previously considered low risk", according to Chien. MSIL can be thought of as a compiler for whatever hardware platform .Net services are running on.

While technically possible, Microsoft has yet to announce a common language runtime for Unix or Linux and viruses written in MSIL and CLR-unaware viruses pose a much lower risk.

The issue of .Net and malicious code is an academic question for now, with widespread use of .Net products and services maybe five years away, but its still interesting the visit the subject because Web services represent the future of IT, at least according to most major vendors.

The jury is still out on whether this represents a more, or less, secure world. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.