Partner Perspectives  Connecting marketers to our tech communities.
11/29/2016
10:25 AM
Matthew Rosenquist
Matthew Rosenquist
Partner Perspectives
50%
50%

Beware: Scalable Vector Graphics Files Are A New Ransomware Threat

SVG files offer many advantages as far as graphics go, but hackers looking to embed malware on websites can exploit them.

Creative cyber criminals are taking advantage of Facebook's compatibility with SVG images to infect victims with ransomware. SVG (scalable vector graphics) files are dangerous on social media sites, email, and even instant messaging tools, as this format is designed with the ability to contain embedded content code such as JavaScript, which can be opened via Web browser. 

A recent incident involved spammers that leveraged Facebook to conduct a campaign to infect unsuspecting victims with the Locky ransomware. This malware is unforgiving and is designed to encrypt users’ files and hold them for extortion.

SVG images are also used on websites, making them a target. If attackers hack a website and replace the current SVG files with ones containing malware, then visitors to that site may become infected. By the time the company realizes its Web page has been infecting its customers, the situation may turn into a catastrophic business debacle.

Many organizations implement strong precautions and security to protect their internal networks from external threats, but not as many are vigilant in watching code on their websites for minor graphical changes.

Technology is great and can be used to do wonderful things. SVG files offer many advantages as graphics go, but they can be abused. Without sufficient controls to protect potential victims, I recommend blocking SVG files on social media sites. Although extreme, it may be prudent to also abandon the use of SVG images on websites until security software can catch up with features to test such embedded code for malicious actions with a high degree of confidence.

Interested in more? Follow me on Twitter (@Matt_Rosenquist) and LinkedIn to hear insights and what is going on in cybersecurity.

Matthew Rosenquist is a cybersecurity strategist for Intel and benefits from 25 years in the field of security. He specializes in strategy, measuring value, and developing cost-effective capabilities and organizations that deliver optimal levels of security. Matthew helped ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
hieuhuule
50%
50%
hieuhuule,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2016 | 10:11:28 AM
How to Block?
How do you block the SVG file in a browser?
Shantaram
50%
50%
Shantaram,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2016 | 5:07:54 AM
Re: 192.168.0.1
Interesting idea, and I totally agree with you :)
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/29/2016 | 1:18:49 PM
Bah
What with all of these advanced threats based on newer technology -- not to mention how long it takes to load modern webpages -- I think we'd be better off going back to 1990s-style websites.  :/
High Stress Levels Impacting CISOs Physically, Mentally
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  2/14/2019
Valentine's Emails Laced with Gandcrab Ransomware
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/14/2019
Making the Case for a Cybersecurity Moon Shot
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  2/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-15380
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
A vulnerability in the cluster service manager of Cisco HyperFlex Software could allow an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker to execute commands as the root user. The vulnerability is due to insufficient input validation. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by connecting to the cluster serv...
CVE-2019-3474
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
A path traversal vulnerability in the web application component of Micro Focus Filr 3.x allows a remote attacker authenticated as a low privilege user to download arbitrary files from the Filr server. This vulnerability affects all versions of Filr 3.x prior to Security Update 6.
CVE-2019-3475
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
A local privilege escalation vulnerability in the famtd component of Micro Focus Filr 3.0 allows a local attacker authenticated as a low privilege user to escalate to root. This vulnerability affects all versions of Filr 3.x prior to Security Update 6.
CVE-2019-10030
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
A sandbox bypass vulnerability exists in Jenkins Script Security Plugin 1.52 and earlier in RejectASTTransformsCustomizer.java that allows attackers with Overall/Read permission to provide a Groovy script to an HTTP endpoint that can result in arbitrary code execution on the Jenkins master JVM.
CVE-2019-10030
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
A exposure of sensitive information vulnerability exists in Jenkins Cloud Foundry Plugin 2.3.1 and earlier in AbstractCloudFoundryPushDescriptor.java that allows attackers with Overall/Read access to connect to an attacker-specified URL using attacker-specified credentials IDs obtained through anoth...