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
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
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.  :/
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 :)
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?
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/25/2020
WannaCry Has IoT in Its Crosshairs
Ed Koehler, Distinguished Principal Security Engineer, Office of CTO, at Extreme Network,  9/25/2020
Safeguarding Schools Against RDP-Based Ransomware
James Lui, Ericom Group CTO, Americas,  9/28/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
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
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-26120
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-27
XSS exists in the MobileFrontend extension for MediaWiki before 1.34.4 because section.line is mishandled during regex section line replacement from PageGateway. Using crafted HTML, an attacker can elicit an XSS attack via jQuery's parseHTML method, which can cause image callbacks to fire even witho...
CVE-2020-26121
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-27
An issue was discovered in the FileImporter extension for MediaWiki before 1.34.4. An attacker can import a file even when the target page is protected against "page creation" and the attacker should not be able to create it. This occurs because of a mishandled distinction between an uploa...
CVE-2020-25812
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-27
An issue was discovered in MediaWiki 1.34.x before 1.34.4. On Special:Contributions, the NS filter uses unescaped messages as keys in the option key for an HTMLForm specifier. This is vulnerable to a mild XSS if one of those messages is changed to include raw HTML.
CVE-2020-25813
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-27
In MediaWiki before 1.31.10 and 1.32.x through 1.34.x before 1.34.4, Special:UserRights exposes the existence of hidden users.
CVE-2020-25814
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-27
In MediaWiki before 1.31.10 and 1.32.x through 1.34.x before 1.34.4, XSS related to jQuery can occur. The attacker creates a message with [javascript:payload xss] and turns it into a jQuery object with mw.message().parse(). The expected result is that the jQuery object does not contain an <a> ...