Security Experts:

Kaspersky Patches Critical Vulnerability in Antivirus Products

Kaspersky Lab has pushed out an update to address a serious antivirus vulnerability reported over the weekend by a Google security engineer.

Google’s Tavis Ormandy reported on Saturday that he had discovered a flaw affecting the 2015 and 2016 versions of Kaspersky’s antivirus products. A screenshot published by the expert shows a successful exploit against Kaspersky Anti-Virus, but it’s unclear if Kaspersky Internet Security and other products were affected as well.

The researcher hasn’t disclosed any details, but he says the issue is “as bad as it gets.” The vulnerability appears to be a buffer overflow affecting the application’s default configuration. Ormandy said his system exploit could have been used remotely with zero interaction.

The researcher reported his findings to Kaspersky and the security firm released a patch within 24 hours.

"We would like to thank Mr. Tavis Ormandy for reporting to us a buffer overflow vulnerability, which our specialists fixed within 24 hours of its disclosure. A fix has already been distributed via automatic updates to all our clients and customers,” Kaspersky Lab told SecurityWeek.

“We’re improving our mitigation strategies to prevent exploiting of inherent imperfections of our software in the future. For instance, we already use such technologies as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP),” the security firm added. “Kaspersky Lab has always supported the assessment of our solutions by independent researchers. Their ongoing efforts help us to make our solutions stronger, more productive and more reliable."

Kaspersky Lab is not the only security firm whose products have been found to be vulnerable to hacker attacks. Researcher Kristian Erik Hermansen last week published details on what he claims to be a serious vulnerability affecting FireEye appliances. The expert says the flaw, which he reported to FireEye 18 months ago, can be exploited remotely to gain root file system access on affected appliances.

Hermansen claims to have identified several vulnerabilities in FireEye products, including command injection and login bypass bugs, which he now plans on selling.

“FireEye appliance, unauthorized remote root file system access. Oh cool, web server runs as root! Now that's excellent security from a _security_ vendor :) Why would you trust these people to have this device on your network?!?!?” Hermansen said.

FireEye said it only learned of the vulnerabilities on Monday morning.

"This morning, FireEye learned of four potential security issues in our products from Kristian Hermansen’s public disclosure of them being available for purchase. We appreciate the efforts of security researchers like Kristian Hermansen and Ron Perris to find potential security issues and help us improve our products, but always encourage responsible disclosure," FireEye told SecurityWeek. "FireEye has a documented policy for researchers to responsibly disclose and inform us of potential security issues. We have reached out to the researchers regarding these potential security issues in order to quickly determine, and potentially remediate, any impacts to the security of our platform and our customers."

*Updated with statement from FireEye

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Eduard Kovacs is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.