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

Previous
1 of 8
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
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?

 
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
Sodinokibi Ransomware: Where Attackers' Money Goes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/15/2019
Tor Weaponized to Steal Bitcoin
Dark Reading Staff 10/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18218
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-21
cdf_read_property_info in cdf.c in file through 5.37 does not restrict the number of CDF_VECTOR elements, which allows a heap-based buffer overflow (4-byte out-of-bounds write).
CVE-2019-18217
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-21
ProFTPD before 1.3.6b and 1.3.7rc before 1.3.7rc2 allows remote unauthenticated denial-of-service due to incorrect handling of overly long commands because main.c in a child process enters an infinite loop.
CVE-2019-16862
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-21
Reflected XSS in interface/forms/eye_mag/view.php in OpenEMR 5.x before 5.0.2.1 allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of a user's session via the pid parameter.
CVE-2019-17409
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-21
Reflected XSS exists in interface/forms/eye_mag/view.php in OpenEMR 5.x before 5.0.2.1 ia the id parameter.
CVE-2019-10715
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-21
There is Stored XSS in Verodin Director before 3.5.4.0 via input fields of certain tooltips, and on the Tags, Sequences, and Actors pages.