I'm hearing more and more about fake patches coming from supposedly reputable programs -- including Google Chrome...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
and Java. How do these attacks work and what are some best practices I can instill to keep my users from installing fake updates?
Time and time again I have said that enterprises should turn on the auto-update feature if they are not going to actively manage any piece of software. However, this recommendation relies on software vendors using secure methods to push out updates and patches to their customers.
While it is a reasonable expectation from Microsoft, Adobe and other similar companies, software vendors without robust information security as part their software development lifecycle might not have sufficient protections in place to protect their customers. This process requires creating patches that can be verified to not have been modified and to have come from the legitimate source and then validated on the client system. Unfortunately, regardless of a company's precautions, there are instances of issues. Even Microsoft's Windows Update was subverted in the Flame malware attack, in which the malware used a fraudulent certificate to send out fake Windows update patches.
However, in the aforementioned cases of updates for Chrome and Java, the fake patches were not the result of attacking the auto-update capabilities; rather they used social engineering to trick users into installing malicious "updates." These updates used company logos and terminology to trick users into believing that the update was legitimately from a trusted vendor.
To prevent your employees from falling victim to such social engineering attacks, enterprises could prohibit users from installing software and software updates on corporate devices and have the IT department take care of all patching. Additional security measures organizations could implement include using a Web browser that checks against a blacklist for malicious downloads, employing a network-based antimalware appliance, or adopting a host-based security tool that can identify fake patches before they are installed and thus minimize the chances of a user being tricked by a fake update.
Ask the Expert!
Perplexed about enterprise security? Send Nick Lewis your questions today! (All questions are anonymous.)
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
As the Angler exploit kit evolves and adopts new functionality, it's becoming harder to detect and defend against. Enterprise threats expert Nick ...continue reading
A proof-of-concept attack on Apple's Siri allowed researchers to steal data from iOS. Learn more about the iStegSiri attack and how to defend against...continue reading
A new global email scam has cost enterprises millions. Expert Nick Lewis explains how to defend against man-in-the-email attacks with proper training...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.