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.

Partner Perspectives  Connecting marketers to our tech communities.
11/29/2016
10:25 AM
Matthew Rosenquist
Matthew Rosenquist
Partner Perspectives
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
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 who actively advises global businesses, academia, and governments to identify emerging risks and opportunities.  Formerly the cybersecurity strategist for Intel Corp., he benefits from 30 years in the security field. He ... 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.  :/
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16029
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
A vulnerability in the application programming interface (API) of Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to change user account information which can prevent users from logging in, resulting in a denial of service (DoS) condition of the web interface. Th...
CVE-2020-3115
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
A vulnerability in the CLI of the Cisco SD-WAN Solution vManage software could allow an authenticated, local attacker to elevate privileges to root-level privileges on the underlying operating system. The vulnerability is due to insufficient input validation. An attacker could exploit this vulnerabi...
CVE-2020-3121
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Small Business Smart and Managed Switches could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to conduct a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack against a user of the interface. The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user-supplie...
CVE-2020-3129
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unity Connection Software could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to perform a stored cross-site scripting (XSS) attack. The vulnerability is due to insufficient input validation by the web-based management interface. An attacker c...
CVE-2020-3131
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
[CVE-2020-3131_su] A vulnerability in the Cisco Webex Teams client for Windows could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to cause the client to crash, resulting in a denial of service (DoS) condition. The attacker needs a valid developer account to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability i...