Feeds

Rogue ActiveX controls menace users

A new class at Vulnerability High

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Flaws in ActiveX controls are being increasingly used to run security exploits.

Arbitrary file overwrite and deletion flaws, typically exploited through ActiveX controls, are well on the way to becoming a new class of security flaw, according to net security firm Symantec.

"These vulnerabilities exist particularly because of a registered ActiveX control failing to restrict which domains may load the control for execution. An attack exploiting this vulnerability can lead to arbitrary code execution by a remote attacker," a blog posting by Symantec researcher Parveen Vashishtha warns.

Since May, Symantec has logged 40 vulnerabilities of this type in applications from vendors including VMware, Microsoft Visual Studio, NCTSoft, and HP Photo Digital Imaging. The flaws are easy enough to exploit. The approach also carries additional benefits for hackers.

For example, a malicious payload of a batch file may come enclosed within a signed ActiveX control, which means that user intervention to approve the actions of a malicious payload may not be required. Typical exploitation scenarios include tricking a user into visiting a maliciously-controlled website.

Fortunately, by default, Internet Explorer blocks ActiveX controls. But consumers should be wary about allowing anything except trusted ActiveX controls. Third-party security products can also defend again the threat, which is explained in greater depth in a posting by Symantec here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.