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.

Perimeter

3/10/2010
07:55 PM
Wolfgang Kandek
Wolfgang Kandek
Commentary
50%
50%

Energizer Bunny Gone Bad

Along with the usual security alerts covering the March bulletins from Microsoft and various content management systems flaws, US CERT published an unusual security alert about a product from Energizer, the battery company.

Along with the usual security alerts covering the March bulletins from Microsoft and various content management systems flaws, US CERT published an unusual security alert about a product from Energizer, the battery company.It turns out that the charge monitoring software for its Duo Charger (Duo = charge with USB and wall socket) for Windows PCs installs a backdoor on your machine that allows an attacker to read and write arbitrary files on your PC. The Trojan horse is a simple, straightforward design and is defeated by any external NAT'ing firewall. It opens a listening port on the infected machine and waits for incoming commands, rather than reaching out to a server and retrieving commands.

The alert is newsworthy because of the delivery method:

  • A well-known company, Energizer, produces the software.
  • Energizer digitally signs the software.
  • The software is advertised on the packaging in English, French, and Spanish (see photo, below), as well as in the product manual.
This would have easily fooled me and other IT professionals because we habitually agree to the installation of software and device drivers whenever we connect new devices to our machines. The common antivirus scanners are only now catching up with their signatures, after the product has been pulled from store shelves, so they would have been of no help in this case. When the software runs for the first time, it requests an firewall exemption, which might have made me question its validity, but is actually a component by Microsoft that fields the request on behalf of the Energizer software, further inducing trust.

This case illustrates one of the big challenges of the Internet: who to trust to provide our information and digital goods. A number of companies are attempting to address this challenge, but we are still far away from mature and accepted solutions.



-- As the CTO for Qualys, Wolfgang Kandek is responsible for product direction and all operational aspects of the QualysGuard platform and its infrastructure. Wolfgang has more than 20 years of experience in developing and managing information systems. His focus has been on Unix-based server architectures and application delivery through the Internet. Wolfgang provides the latest commentary on his blog: laws.qualys.com and also publishes his Patch Tuesday commentary to the QualysGuard channel: www.youtube.com/QualysGuard. He is a frequent source in business and trade media and speaks at industry conferences around the world, most recently at RSA 2010.
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
New 'Nanodegree' Program Provides Hands-On Cybersecurity Training
Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Writer,  8/3/2020
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-2020-15820
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, the markdown parser could disclose hidden file existence.
CVE-2020-15821
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, a user without permission is able to create an article draft.
CVE-2020-15823
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.8873 is vulnerable to SSRF in the Workflow component.
CVE-2020-15824
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains Kotlin before 1.4.0, there is a script-cache privilege escalation vulnerability due to kotlin-main-kts cached scripts in the system temp directory, which is shared by all users by default.
CVE-2020-15825
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains TeamCity before 2020.1, users with the Modify Group permission can elevate other users' privileges.