Feeds

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

Time for an Evilgrade

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
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?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'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
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.