Trend Micro flaw could have allowed attacker to steal all passwords

Trend has patched that problem and another remote execution flaw

A discovery by a well-known Google security researcher provides further proof how antivirus programs designed to shield computers from attacks can sometimes provide a doorway for hackers.

Tavis Ormandy, an information security engineer with Google, wrote he found bugs in Trend Micro's antivirus product that could allow remote code execution by any website and steal all of a users' passwords.

The security firm has confirmed it has released an automatic update that fixes the problems.

"As part of our standard vulnerability response process we worked with him to identify and address the vulnerability," wrote Christopher Budd, global threat communications manager at Trend Micro, in an email on Monday. "Customers are now getting protections through automatic updates."

Ormandy posted emails he exchanged with Trend officials, occasionally expressing his frustration that the company wasn't moving fast enough.

"So this means anyone on the internet can steal all of your passwords completely silently, as well as execute arbitrary code with zero user interaction," Ormandy wrote. "I really hope the gravity of this is clear to you, because I'm astonished about this."

Trend's antivirus product has a password manager, and users can elect to export their passwords to it. The password manager is written in JavaScript and opens up multiple HTTP remote procedure call ports to handle API requests, Ormandy wrote.

In 30 seconds, Ormandy wrote he found one that would accept remote code. He also found an API that allowed him to access passwords stored in the manager.

Overall, Ormandy wrote that he found over 70 APIs exposed to the Internet, not all of which he had investigated for security issues. He suggested Trend should hire an external consultancy to audit the code.

Antivirus applications run with high-level privileges on operating systems, which means that exploiting a vulnerability can give an attacker deep access to a computer.

Dozens of serious vulnerabilities have been found in the last seven months in antivirus products from vendors including Kaspersky Lab, ESET, Avast, AVG Technologies, Intel Security (formerly McAfee) and Malwarebytes.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?