Double Agent | Malware replaces Antivirus | Summary and Q&A

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March 23, 2017
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The PC Security Channel
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Double Agent | Malware replaces Antivirus

TL;DR

Researchers have created an exploit kit that can compromise and manipulate popular antivirus programs, turning them into malware.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the vulnerability in Windows allow attackers to compromise antivirus programs?

By replacing the verifier tool, attackers can modify the behavior of an application, including popular antivirus programs. This gives them high-level privileges on a user's system.

Q: Which antivirus programs are vulnerable to this exploit?

The vulnerability affects a range of major antivirus companies, including AVG, Kaspersky, Trend Micro, and more. A few notable companies, like G Data and MC Soft, are not on the list.

Q: What can the exploit kit do once an antivirus program is compromised?

Once an antivirus program is compromised, it can be turned into ransomware, encrypt or destroy files, and launch DDoS attacks. The attacker gains high-level privileges and can access anything on the infected system.

Q: Why did the researchers release the source code on GitHub?

The researchers have disclosed the vulnerability to antivirus companies, but few have released patches to fix the issue. The release of the source code puts more pressure on companies to address the vulnerability promptly.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • There is a 15-year-old vulnerability that allows attackers to replace the verifier tool in Windows, which can then be used to change the behavior of an application.

  • Many popular antivirus programs, including AVG, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro, have been compromised and can be turned into ransomware, encrypt files, or launch DDoS attacks.

  • The researches released the source code of the exploit kit on GitHub, potentially exposing it to cybercriminals.

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