Feeds

Security flap over support ActiveX controls bug

Help!

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Flaws in an ActiveX component incorporated in many technical support support packages create a risk of hacking attacks, security watchers warn.

SupportSoft's ActiveX controls are subject to multiple buffer overflow vulnerabilities, which create a means for hackers to inject malware onto vulnerable systems. The controls are used by internet service providers (ISPs) and PC manufacturers for remote assistance and other technical support functions, creating a large pool of potentially vulnerable users. Exploitation would involve tricking users into visiting maliciously constructed websites featuring ActiveX controls that take advantage of SupportSoft's vulnerabilities.

Organisations using the technology include IBM, Telefonica, BT, Symantec and Bank of America, among others. Symantec users should apply an update as explained here. SupportSoft has also published an advisory. However since most third-party software packages don't exactly advertise their use of SupportSoft components, most ordinary users won't be aware whether they are exposed to the problem or not.

Because of this potential dilemma security clearing house US CERT advises users to disable SupportSoft ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer as a precautionary workaround (as explained here). More simply users might want to disable ActiveX controls in the Internet Zone but this might render some websites unusable. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.