Just days after AV vendor Trend Micro was forced to issue a warning that Chinese hackers were distributing an attack disguised as, and packaged with, one of its actual infection-removal tools, the company is facing a major vulnerability in one of its flagship products.
According to an advisory initially published by an independent researcher, Elazar Broad, multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Trend Micro's OfficeScan endpoint protection suite that could be remotely exploited to compromise affected systems.
Both Broad and Secunia, which rated the issue as "highly critical," said that the Trend vulnerabilities are related to boundary errors in an OfficeScan Corporate Edition Web-Deployment ActiveX control (OfficeScanRemoveCtrl.dll) on an OfficeScan client when attempting to display a list of configuration settings.
"These can be exploited to cause stack-based buffer overflows by passing overly long properties when a user visits a malicious Web site," Secunia reported. "Successful exploitation allows execution of arbitrary code, but requires that OfficeScan client was installed using Web deployment."
The researchers said that the vulnerabilities were confirmed in Version 7.3 of the product, but indicated that other versions may also be affected.
[UPDATE: Broad contacted me directly to let me know that OfficeScan 8.x is not vulnerable.
"The control that comes packaged with 8.x uses secure versions of the standard C++ functions(otherwise known as strcpy_s, strlen_s etc. see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8ef0s5kh(VS.80).aspx), so no code execution can occur, however the browser will crash since the *_s functions throw an INVALID_PARAMETER exception which is not handled in the 8.x version."]
"OfficeScan's Web Console utilizes several ActiveX controls when deploying the product through the Web interface. One of these controls, objRemoveCtrl, is vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow when embedded in a Web page," said Broad. "The one caveat to this issue is that the control must be embedded in such a way that it can be visible. The issue lies in the code that is used to display certain properties and their values on the control when it is embedded in a page.
Broad said that while Trend has previously issued a patch for the problem, he has been able to exploit the vulnerability in the cited version of OfficeScan.
While many AV vendors have called its results into question, a recent research report concluded that hundreds of vulnerabilities exist across many popular AV products.
Matt Hines has been following the IT industry for over a decade as a reporter and blogger, and has been specifically focused on the security space since 2003, including a previous stint writing for eWeek and contributing to the Security Watch blog. Hines is currently employed as marketing communications manager at Core Security Technologies, a Boston-based maker of security testing software. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Core Security, and neither the company, nor its products and services will be actively discussed in the blog. Please send news, research or tips to SecurityWatchBlog@gmail.com.