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

Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
What's This?
7/16/2010
10:36 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
50%
50%

Zero-Day Vulnerability Allows USB Malware To Run Automatically

A newly discovered piece of malware has created a buzz in the security industry.

A newly discovered piece of malware has created a buzz in the security industry.The Stuxnet rootkit can infect a Windows PC from a USB drive automatically, even if Windows Autoplay and Autorun are disabled.

That shouldn't, of course, be possible, but it appears that the malware is exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability (dubbed "CPLINK" by Sophos) in the way that Windows handles .LNK shortcut files, allowing the malignant code to execute automatically if the USB stick is accessed by Windows Explorer. Once the rootkit is in place, it effectively enters "stealth-mode," cloaking its presence on the infected PC.

Of course, there has been plenty of USB-aware malware in the past. Threats such as the infamous Conficker worm have spread ferociously, but could be tempered by disabling AutoPlay.

The risk now is that more malware will take advantage of the apparent zero-day exploit used by the Stuxnet rootkit, taking things to a whole new level.

But there's another reason why Stuxnet is being examined with interest by the security community: It appears that the malware could be targeting Windows computers running Siemens SCADA software -- code that controls national critical infrastructure.

Furthermore, the suspicious driver files that contain the malware carry the digital signature of Realtek Semiconductor, a major supplier of computer equipment.

It's important not to overreact to this threat; the exploit was only recently discovered and the security community has not yet established the extent of the risk to SCADA systems. But the fact that SCADA systems are involved at all does mean everyone will be examining the attack closely.

Eyes will also inevitably be turned to Microsoft to see how it will respond to what appears to be another unpatched vulnerability in its code.

Sophos detects the malicious files involved in the attack as W32/Stuxnet-B.

For more information about Stuxnet and the associated USB vulnerability, please check out the blog of my colleague, Chet Wisniewski.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his award-winning other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SOC 2s & Third-Party Assessments: How to Prevent Them from Being Used in a Data Breach Lawsuit
Beth Burgin Waller, Chair, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Practice , Woods Rogers PLC,  12/5/2019
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19619
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
domain/section/markdown/markdown.go in Documize before 3.5.1 mishandles untrusted Markdown content. This was addressed by adding the bluemonday HTML sanitizer to defend against XSS.
CVE-2019-19616
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
An Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) vulnerability in the Xtivia Web Time and Expense (WebTE) interface used for Microsoft Dynamics NAV before 2017 allows an attacker to download arbitrary files by specifying arbitrary values for the recId and filename parameters of the /Home/GetAttachment fun...
CVE-2019-19617
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-06
phpMyAdmin before 4.9.2 does not escape certain Git information, related to libraries/classes/Display/GitRevision.php and libraries/classes/Footer.php.
CVE-2012-1114
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in LDAP Account Manager (LAM) Pro 3.6 in the filter parameter to cmd.php in an export and exporter_id action. and the filteruid parameter to list.php.
CVE-2012-1115
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in LDAP Account Manager (LAM) Pro 3.6 in the export, add_value_form, and dn parameters to cmd.php.