Is KHOBE An Earthquake Or A Storm In A Security Teacup?

Should you be losing sleep over a report that claims Windows antivirus products are fatally flawed?

Graham Cluley, Contributor

May 11, 2010

2 Min Read

Should you be losing sleep over a report that claims Windows antivirus products are fatally flawed?If you just believed the headlines, then you would be forgiven for thinking there's a serious problem:

KHOBE media headlines

KHOBE media headlines

Sounds bad, doesn't it? These news headlines have come in the wake of a new report from a firm called Matousec, which claims "today's most popular security solutions simply do not work."

The attack method, dubbed KHOBE and described by Matousec researchers as an "8.0 earthquake for desktop security software," describes a way in which the tamper protection implemented by some anti-malware products might be potentially bypassed.

That's assuming, of course, you can get your malicious code past the anti-malware product in the first place.

Hang on a minute. That means KHOBE is not really a way that hackers can avoid detection and get their malware installed on your computer.

What Matousec is describing is a way of "doing something extra" if the malicious code manages to get past your antivirus software in the first place.

In other words, KHOBE is only an issue if antivirus products miss the malware. And that's one of the reasons, of course, why vendors offer a layered approach using a variety of protection technologies.

It seems to me that the sky isn't falling, and this is a storm in a teacup.

If you want to reassure your bosses that it's not time to throw your Windows security software in the garbage heap just yet, then make sure you read this excellent piece by Sophos's Paul Ducklin, which examines and discusses the KHOBE claims in greater detail.

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.

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