Zero-Day Vulnerability Allows USB Malware To Run Automatically
A newly discovered piece of malware has created a buzz in the security industry.
A newly discovered piece of malware has created a buzz in the security industry.The Stuxnet rootkit can infect a Windows PC from a USB drive automatically, even if Windows Autoplay and Autorun are disabled.
That shouldn't, of course, be possible, but it appears that the malware is exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability (dubbed "CPLINK" by Sophos) in the way that Windows handles .LNK shortcut files, allowing the malignant code to execute automatically if the USB stick is accessed by Windows Explorer. Once the rootkit is in place, it effectively enters "stealth-mode," cloaking its presence on the infected PC.
Of course, there has been plenty of USB-aware malware in the past. Threats such as the infamous Conficker worm have spread ferociously, but could be tempered by disabling AutoPlay.
The risk now is that more malware will take advantage of the apparent zero-day exploit used by the Stuxnet rootkit, taking things to a whole new level.
But there's another reason why Stuxnet is being examined with interest by the security community: It appears that the malware could be targeting Windows computers running Siemens SCADA software -- code that controls national critical infrastructure.
Furthermore, the suspicious driver files that contain the malware carry the digital signature of Realtek Semiconductor, a major supplier of computer equipment.
It's important not to overreact to this threat; the exploit was only recently discovered and the security community has not yet established the extent of the risk to SCADA systems. But the fact that SCADA systems are involved at all does mean everyone will be examining the attack closely.
Eyes will also inevitably be turned to Microsoft to see how it will respond to what appears to be another unpatched vulnerability in its code.
Sophos detects the malicious files involved in the attack as W32/Stuxnet-B.
For more information about Stuxnet and the associated USB vulnerability, please check out the blog of my colleague, Chet Wisniewski.
Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his award-winning other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.
As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Published: 2014-10-30 Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.
Published: 2014-10-30 SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.
Published: 2014-10-30 The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.
Published: 2014-10-30 Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...