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.


03:58 AM
Connect Directly

New Tool Protects You From Antivirus Gone Wild

German security firm releases product to plug little-known but dangerous holes in AV and email security

German security firm n.runs AG has released a security tool that protects antivirus tools from being abused by malware. N.runs built the product after discovering flaws in the parser engines of antivirus and host-based IDS/IPS scanners that could cause these server-based tools to “turn” on their users. (See Researchers: Bugs Can Turn Security Tools Against Their Users and Antivirus, IDS/IPS Tools Can Be Used for Attacks.)

The new Application Protection System Anti-Virus (aps-AV) system sits in front of the email and AV servers. “Aps-AV has been developed and conceived for the special security requirements of large enterprises and government-related contractors or organizations. [But it’s also for] anybody that needs a high level of security and protection from zero-day” threats, says Thierry Zoller, security engineer for n.runs.

Zoller and Sergio Alvarez, head of research at n.runs, last year discovered hundreds of cases of two types of parser engine bugs in security scanners -- one that let attackers sneak malware past these security tools, and a code execution bug that can read and send email from a victim’s email server to open a backdoor into the network. The vulnerabilities also left the door open for denial-of-service attacks, and for AV tools to help execute malicious code.

The problem with these little-known parser flaws is that they make a layered, defense-in-depth strategy backfire on an organization, Zoller says. N.runs’s aps-AV is aimed at plugging those holes in the email and AV infrastructure, he says, and uses an organization’s existing AV tools. But aps-AV takes potentially malicious data offline to a secure environment for inspection or analysis. That stops parsing attacks from occurring, according to n.runs.

N.runs or one of its partners provides a custom installation of aps-AV, which is priced on an individual basis, according to the firm.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.