F-Secure Fixes Serious Vulnerability in Antivirus Products

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F-Secure Fixes Serious Vulnerability in Antivirus Products

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F-Secure Fixes Serious Vulnerability in Antivirus Products

F-Secure Corporation (formerly Data Fellows) is a Finnish cyber security and privacy company based in Helsinki, Finland. The company has 20 country offices and a presence in more than 100 countries, with Security Lab operations in Helsinki, Finland and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company develops and sells antivirus, password management, endpoint security, and other cyber security products and services.

F-Secure has fixed a severe vulnerability in its home and enterprise antivirus products that could have allowed an attacker to execute malicious code on the user’s machine and take over affected PCs

The actual vulnerability doesn’t affect F-Secure directly, but the 7-Zip file archiving software, which F-Secure uses to decompress archives, scan them for threats, and repackage the original file.




Vulnerability really resides in 7-Zip

A security researcher going by the pseudonym of “landave” discovered this particular vulnerability (CVE-2018-10115) in March and worked with 7-Zip team to fix the problem.

This was landave’s third vulnerability affecting 7-Zip after he previously also discovered CVE-2017-17969 and CVE-2018-5996. Similarly, the researcher found two 7-Zip-related bugs affecting the Bitdefender antivirus last year, in 2017.




Vulnerability exploited via poisoned RAR file

According to a technical write-up explaining the 7-Zip vulnerability in more detail, the 7-Zip bug can be exploited by creating a malformed RAR archive that when decompressed triggers the execution of malicious code on a user’s computer.

Since F-Secure antivirus products automate some of these file decompression operations during their scanning procedure, exploiting this bug was as trivial as tricking a malicious user into accessing a malicious URL that initiated a file download.

Landave says that F-Secure products will automatically scan every newly downloaded file that’s under 5MB in size, meaning that once the download of the malicious RAR file finishes, the malicious code inside the RAR exploits CVE-2018-10115 and runs malicious operations on the user’s computer.




Exploit chain bypasses ASLR

The researcher says that even if F-Secure implemented Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR), a security feature to prevent such exploits, he was able to find a bypass that would allowed him to run the attack regardless.

F-Secure users don’t have to take any action to receive this update unless they’ve turned off the auto-update feature. A list of affected products is included in this F-Secure security advisory. Only F-Secure for Windows versions were affected, and not the company’s Mac and Linux products.





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