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Trend Micro Patches Code Execution Vulnerability in Anti-Threat Toolkit

Trend Micro recently patched a high-severity remote code execution vulnerability in its Anti-Threat Toolkit (ATTK).

The Trend Micro ATTK tool allows users to perform forensic scans of their system and clean rootkit, ransomware, MBR and other types of malware infections.

Researcher John Page, aka hyp3rlinx, discovered that attackers can abuse ATTK to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system by planting malicious files named cmd.exe or

Regedit.exe in the same folder as the tool. When a scan is initiated, the malicious files would get executed by the application.

“Since the ATTK is signed by verified publisher and therefore assumed trusted any MOTW security warnings are bypassed if the malware was internet downloaded, also it can become a persistence mechanism as each time the Anti-Threat Toolkit is run so can an attackers malware,” Page said in an advisory.

The researcher has published a video showing how the attack works:

Trend Micro was informed about the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-9491, on September 9 and a patch was rolled out on October 18 with the release of version 1.62.0.1223. Version 1.62.0.1218 and below on Windows are impacted by the flaw.

Other tools such as WCRY Patch Tool and OfficeScan Toolbox also integrate ATTK and they have also received updates to address the issue.

“Exploiting these type of vulnerabilities generally require that an attacker has access (physical or remote) to a vulnerable machine. In addition to timely application of patches and updated solutions, customers are also advised to review remote access to critical systems and ensure policies and perimeter security is up-to-date,” Trend Micro said in its own advisory. “However, even though an exploit may require several specific conditions to be met, Trend Micro strongly encourages customers to update to the latest builds as soon as possible.”

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) 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.