Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ABTV //

Malware

2/25/2019
10:30 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

Is There a Silver Bullet for Zero-Day Attacks?

Silicon Valley startup K2 Cyber Security says it has a product that will stop any zero-day attack. So where's the proof?

The Silicon Valley startup K2 Cyber Security is trying to make a name for itself by saying that it has a product that will stop any zero-day attack. It claims it can do this in the cloud by monitoring how an app performs and comparing it to how it thinks the app should perform.

The company says that, "K2 has developed Optimized CFI, the first deterministic solution that promises to enable no false positive, highly precise software-based CFI to enterprises, with easy operationalization: no need for source code for instrumentation, expensive re-compiles or hardware forklifts to implement. K2 Prevent works via an agent that knows the legitimate execution paths of your application infrastructure and instantly alerts when an exploit or web attack occurs. Unlike most security approaches, K2 does not depend on prior behavioral or signature-based knowledge of any attack, enabling the solution to be effective against zero-day attack."

As claims go, that's pretty out there.

In the past, CFI has only been feasible with select hardware and OS implementations. Re-compiles of applications and hardware upgrades may have been needed to get it to function.

Also, CFI has had operational trade-offs in the software like instrumentation, heavy infrastructure or high additional CPU overhead requirements. This has made adoption of it by most enterprise IT environments problematic.

The company describes its process simply. Agents are deployed on physical or virtual servers and VMs via an installer and as Kubernetes minion nodes as pods. The K2 agent "automatically identifies applications and protect[s] them from attacks." An inconsistency in execution of an application due to an attack should generate a security alert in real time which can then be viewed in user's own GUI or in SIEM solution.

K2 says that it has the process all worked out. But so far, no operational details such as tests or code examples have been provided to the public by the company to verify its claims. The folk at K2 say they have patents pending on the optimizations, so that may be a factor here.

Ankit Anubhav, the principal security researcher of Russian-based NewSkySecurity, is also somewhat confused by K2's lack of transparency.

He told Security Now: "It's an interesting approach to use the whitelisting so anything besides normal behavior should be tracked and can be helpful for catching an unknown attack or zero day. That being said, it's too abstract and top level for me to comment on it as the technical details, real-world use cases or code isn't shared."

K2 has claimed much, and now needs to show potential customers what it has under the hood for them.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-20001
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-11
In the standard library in Rust before 1.2.0, BinaryHeap is not panic-safe. The binary heap is left in an inconsistent state when the comparison of generic elements inside sift_up or sift_down_range panics. This bug leads to a drop of zeroed memory as an arbitrary type, which can result in a memory ...
CVE-2020-36317
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-11
In the standard library in Rust before 1.49.0, String::retain() function has a panic safety problem. It allows creation of a non-UTF-8 Rust string when the provided closure panics. This bug could result in a memory safety violation when other string APIs assume that UTF-8 encoding is used on the sam...
CVE-2020-36318
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-11
In the standard library in Rust before 1.49.0, VecDeque::make_contiguous has a bug that pops the same element more than once under certain condition. This bug could result in a use-after-free or double free.
CVE-2021-28875
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-11
In the standard library in Rust before 1.50.0, read_to_end() does not validate the return value from Read in an unsafe context. This bug could lead to a buffer overflow.
CVE-2021-28876
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-11
In the standard library in Rust before 1.52.0, the Zip implementation has a panic safety issue. It calls __iterator_get_unchecked() more than once for the same index when the underlying iterator panics (in certain conditions). This bug could lead to a memory safety violation due to an unmet safety r...