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
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-36289
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
Affected versions of Atlassian Jira Server and Data Center allow an unauthenticated user to enumerate users via an Information Disclosure vulnerability in the QueryComponentRendererValue!Default.jspa endpoint. The affected versions are before version 8.5.13, from version 8.6.0 before 8.13.5, and fro...
CVE-2021-32606
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
In the Linux kernel 5.11 through 5.12.2, isotp_setsockopt in net/can/isotp.c allows privilege escalation to root by leveraging a use-after-free. (This does not affect earlier versions that lack CAN ISOTP SF_BROADCAST support.)
CVE-2021-3504
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in the hivex library in versions before 1.3.20. It is caused due to a lack of bounds check within the hivex_open function. An attacker could input a specially crafted Windows Registry (hive) file which would cause hivex to read memory beyond its normal bounds or cause the program to...
CVE-2021-20309
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in versions before 7.0.11 and before 6.9.12, where a division by zero in WaveImage() of MagickCore/visual-effects.c may trigger undefined behavior via a crafted image file submitted to an application using ImageMagick. The highest threat from this vulnerability is to ...
CVE-2021-20310
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in versions before 7.0.11, where a division by zero ConvertXYZToJzazbz() of MagickCore/colorspace.c may trigger undefined behavior via a crafted image file that is submitted by an attacker and processed by an application using ImageMagick. The highest threat from this...