Feeds

CA in malformed archives malware risk

Anti-virus protection turned against users

Seven Steps to Software Security

CA has updated its anti-virus software to guard against a brace of flaws that created a means for hackers to turn the security protection software against its users.

Both bugs involved problems in processing malformed CAB archives. Successful exploitation of the vulnerabilities potentially allows execution of arbitrary code (malware) or system crashes thanks to that perennial hacker favourite, buffer overflow flaws.

The vulnerabilities affect CA Anti-Virus and eTrust security packages, enterprise versions of these products, as well as systems management and backup suites that bundle the security software. CA has published an update (30.6, if you must know) designed to address the flaws, which were reported by security researchers via 3Com Tipping Point's Zero Day Initiative (advisories here and here).

CA's advisory can be found here.

Processing archived files is something of an Achilles heel for anti-virus products in general. The issue came to the fore around two years ago after security tools vendor ISS issued alerts over similar but distinct vulnerabilities in various security packages from Symantec, involving the processing of UPX compressed files; and anti-virus products from F-Secure and Trend Micro, both involving the handling of ARJ archive files.

More recently, Trend Micro had a problem with UPX compressed files back. Anti-virus products are designed to keep users safe from virus attacks. Flaws, such as the bugs in CA's software, illustrate these security packages can become the source of security bugs. The problem is nowhere near severe enough to spark much of a rethink by vendors, much less changes in anti-virus user buying behaviour, but it does illustrate the problems of adding additional layers of protection rather than making systems secure in the first place. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.