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.

Risk

8/4/2009
03:30 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%

Turn Off Auto-Updates Before Hitting the Road

The convenience of automatic software updates can create major problems if apps are updated via unsecured public Wi-Fi connections. Hotspots make great hijack spots, and as a result, your mobile employees need to make some adjustments in their update settings.

The convenience of automatic software updates can create major problems if apps are updated via unsecured public Wi-Fi connections. Hotspots make great hijack spots, and as a result, your mobile employees need to make some adjustments in their update settings.One more rule for mobile employees:

Disable automatic software updates when you're on the road.

The reason? According to a presentation at last week's DefCon 17 hacker conference, some apps' auto-update processes can be hijacked by malware, and the hijacking is made all the easier when the user is connected through an already insecure public net.

We've talked here before about the dangers of using public access points for business purposes, but this latest concern is a little different.

The primary difference is that your mobile employees may not be aware that the auto-update process is taking place. According to the Radware researchers who made the DefCon presentation, update hijacks return malware to the update requesting program, bypassing the user altogether. (The fact that the user doesn't have to be involved in the update is, after all, the main appeal of auto-updates.)

The problem is that while some companies -- Microsoft, most notably -- include authentication procedures as part of their auto-updates, most do not.

The researchers implied that the number of vulnerable auto-updaters may be in the hundreds. They specifically named Alcohol 120, Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) PDF Reader, GOM Player, Hex Workshop, iMesh, and Skype as update hijacking candidates.

Time to spread the word to your mobile employees that they need to review the array of apps on their machines and disable auto-updates any time they take those machines into the wild open access spaces.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
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
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8720
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Buffer overflow in a subsystem for some Intel(R) Server Boards, Server Systems and Compute Modules before version 1.59 may allow a privileged user to potentially enable denial of service via local access.
CVE-2020-12300
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Uninitialized pointer in BIOS firmware for Intel(R) Server Board Families S2600CW, S2600KP, S2600TP, and S2600WT may allow a privileged user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
CVE-2020-12301
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Improper initialization in BIOS firmware for Intel(R) Server Board Families S2600ST, S2600BP and S2600WF may allow a privileged user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
CVE-2020-7307
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Unprotected Storage of Credentials vulnerability in McAfee Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Mac prior to 11.5.2 allows local users to gain access to the RiskDB username and password via unprotected log files containing plain text credentials.
CVE-2020-8679
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Out-of-bounds write in Kernel Mode Driver for some Intel(R) Graphics Drivers before version 26.20.100.7755 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable denial of service via local access.