Feeds

Security products 'riddled' with bugs

Who guards the guards?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The number of flaws in computer security products is rising sharply and threatens to become more of a problem than vulnerabilities in the products they are designed to protect, a study by Yankee Group out Monday warns.

In the 15-month period between January 2004 and March 2005, security vendors reported 77 separate vulnerabilities and the rate is going up. Based on current Trends, Yankee reckons the number of vulnerabilities for security products this year will top 2004 levels by as much as 50 per cent.

Exploits targeting flaws in security products have yet to prove much of a problem with the Witty worm, which spread using a security bug in ISS's desktop firewall product, the only mass exploit to date. But Yankee warns against any complacency on this score.

"Security researchers — whether they wear white, gray or black hats — are increasingly less interested in poking holes in desktop operating systems," said Andrew Jaquith, Yankee Group senior analyst in Security Solutions & Services. "A more fascinating and profitable area exists in finding vulnerabilities in the products meant to defend against the attacks themselves. It is time for the security vendors to stand up and make their own products more secure before they become preferred conduits for professionally designed malware."

Back in the day, PCs could be protected by just a decent firewall and anti-virus. But as newer threats, such as spyware and spam, have forced users to rely on a greater range of security products thereby increasing the potential that users might trip over security glitches in their defensive kit. Yankee Group urges vendors to further protect customers by comprehensive testing before product release, and by reviewing the entire code base for potentially dangerous functions. ®

Related stories

Witty attacks your firewall and destroys your data
Witty worm traced to 'Patient Zero'
PC-cillin killed my PC
Anti-virus vulnerabilities strike again
BitDefender bug bites GFI
Red alert over Symantec firewall flaw

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.