Command Execution Flaw Patched in Trend Micro Products

Thursday, 31 March, 2016 In General News, Other News, Top News


Trend Micro released patches on Wednesday to address a serious vulnerability affecting several of the company’s products.

Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered a remote Node.js debugging stub

in the default configuration of Trend Micro Antivirus, Maximum Security, Premium Security and Password Manager. The flaw was easy to discover and exploit, Ormandy said.

According to the expert, the remote debugger stub listened on localhost, allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. Ormandy noted that the stub listened on different ports, but he created a simple exploit to show how the open port could be identified and the vulnerability exploited.

The issue was reported to Trend Micro on March 22 and a temporary patch was released on March 30. A complete fix, which requires additional work as the root cause of the flaw exists in a third-party module, will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Ormandy said the temporary fix can be bypassed in certain circumstances, which is why the advisory he made public on Wednesday does not detail the limitations of the patch.

The Google researcher noted that the issue is similar to a vulnerability identified in January in Trend Micro Password Manager. The problem in that case was related to multiple HTTP RPC ports opened by the product for handling API requests. The expert discovered that some of the APIs allowed arbitrary command execution.

Ormandy has analyzed several security products over the past months, including ones from Kaspersky Lab, AVG, FireEye, and Avast.

Last September, the researcher warned that vulnerabilities in security products can considerably increase exposure to targeted attacks.

“We have strong evidence that an active black market trade in antivirus exploits exists. Research shows that it’s an easily accessible attack surface that dramatically increases exposure to targeted attacks,” Ormandy said. “For this reason, the vendors of security products have a responsibility to uphold the highest secure development standards possible to minimise the potential for harm caused by their software.”

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