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
Oldest First  |  Newest 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?

 
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
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
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-29572
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-06
app/View/Elements/genericElements/SingleViews/Fields/genericField.ctp in MISP 2.4.135 has XSS via the authkey comment field.
CVE-2020-29573
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-06
sysdeps/i386/ldbl2mpn.c in the GNU C Library (aka glibc or libc6) before 2.23 on x86 targets has a stack-based buffer overflow if the input to any of the printf family of functions is an 80-bit long double with a non-canonical bit pattern, as seen when passing a \x00\x04\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\...
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.