Feeds

CA in malformed archives malware risk

Anti-virus protection turned against users

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.