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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/9/2018
01:00 PM
100%
0%

What You Should Know About Grayware (and What to Do About It)

Grayware is a tricky security problem, but there are steps you can take to defend your organization when you recognize the risk.
Previous
1 of 8
Next

Everyone has seen them: applications that come on many new systems offering services with unfamiliar names, or apps that have familiar names but are offered on sites that aren't from their publishers. They're grayware – or "potentially unwanted applications" – and they're an ongoing issue for computer security.

Grayware's nature makes it difficult for organizations to keep it away from their systems. "It's not a technical problem, it’s a classification problem. There is a thin line being malicious or not and the operators play with the line. Which limits what researchers and law enforcement can do," said Vitor Ventura, senior security researcher at Cisco Talos, in an email interview.

Some IT professionals might be tempted to ignore grayware while they focus on more obvious malware and other threats. But there are legitimate reasons not to.

"Oh, it's horrible," says Chet Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos. "Not only are you getting something that's annoying to the user, it's often more than doubling the attack surface of your computer because of the additional amount of Internet-facing code that's often poor quality." That's in addition to the privacy and productivity implications of code that tracks activity and pops up unwanted ads, he says.

IT and security teams need to consider a number of factors about grayware, both in terms of what it is and how to deal with it. Without many automation option to help, response is up to a well-informed staff.

(Image: typographyimages)

 

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 8
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
peternjohnson
100%
0%
peternjohnson,
User Rank: Strategist
12/4/2018 | 9:16:04 AM
Horrible slideshow format negates taking anything serious from darkreading!
These "slideshows" are a horiible waste of time and energy, I mean what is this, facebook clickbait???

How can we download a PDF or something that is useful?

 
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
Modern Day Insider Threat: Network Bugs That Are Stealing Your Data
David Pearson, Principal Threat Researcher,  10/21/2020
Are You One COVID-19 Test Away From a Cybersecurity Disaster?
Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk Practice, Kroll,  10/21/2020
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
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27743
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
libtac in pam_tacplus through 1.5.1 lacks a check for a failure of RAND_bytes()/RAND_pseudo_bytes(). This could lead to use of a non-random/predictable session_id.
CVE-2020-1915
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
An out-of-bounds read in the JavaScript Interpreter in Facebook Hermes prior to commit 8cb935cd3b2321c46aa6b7ed8454d95c75a7fca0 allows attackers to cause a denial of service attack or possible further memory corruption via crafted JavaScript. Note that this is only exploitable if the application usi...
CVE-2020-26878
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus through 1.5.1.0.21 is affected by remote command injection. An authenticated user can submit a query to the API (/service/v1/createUser endpoint), injecting arbitrary commands that will be executed as root user via web.py.
CVE-2020-26879
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus vRioT through 1.5.1.0.21 has an API backdoor that is hardcoded into validate_token.py. An unauthenticated attacker can interact with the service API by using a backdoor value as the Authorization header.
CVE-2020-15272
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
In the git-tag-annotation-action (open source GitHub Action) before version 1.0.1, an attacker can execute arbitrary (*) shell commands if they can control the value of [the `tag` input] or manage to alter the value of [the `GITHUB_REF` environment variable]. The problem has been patched in version ...