Feeds

Exploit code targets Mac OS X, iTunes, Java, Winzip...

Time for an Evilgrade

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A researcher from Argentina has released an exploit package that can install malware on end user machines that run iTunes, Mac OS X, Winzip and a host of other popular software.

Evilgrade is the brainchild of Francisco Amato and works by exploiting weaknesses in the automatic upgrade feature of an affected program or operating system. It works only when a man-in-the-middle attack has first been carried out, but thanks to the domain name system vulnerability that has dominated security coverage ever since researcher Dan Kaminsky sounded the alarm three weeks ago, that's not much of a problem.

The demo here shows just how effective Evilgrade is now that the exploit code for the devastating DNS bug was folded into Metasploit. It shows how the upgrade feature on Sun's ubiquitous Java runtime environment can be targeted to remotely execute arbitrary code on a fully-patched machine.

In addition to iTunes, Mac OS X, Winzip and Java, other programs that Evilgrade can attack include Winamp, Notebook, OpenOffice, Notepad++, Speedbit and the Linkedin Toolbar.

Amato, of Infobyte Computing Security Research, isn't the only researcher who's been thinking about security weaknesses in updating features. Security consultant Derek Callaway of Security Objectives has recently issued advisories warning against serious vulnerabilities in both Lenovo laptops and Cygwin, a tool that creates a Linux-like environment on Windows PCs. Like the exploits carried out by Evilgrade, the attacks Callaway warns of also rely on a man-in-the-middle condition, in which attackers are able to sit in between the victim and a trusted site.

The DNS bug discovered by Kaminsky isn't the only way to create a man-in-the-middle condition. Other attacks involving DNS, ARP and DHCP spoofing can also suffice, and with the recent release of a program called KARMetaSploitt (a combination of Metasploit and KARMA that's included within the latest BackTrack LiveCD), there's yet another menu-driven way to achieve the effect. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.