Feeds

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

Time for an Evilgrade

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
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 cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.