Decade-old bugs discovered in Avast, AVG antivirus software

Jean J. Sanders

Scientists have disclosed two superior-severity vulnerabilities in Avast and AVG antivirus goods which have gone undetected for ten yrs. 

On Thursday, SentinelOne printed a safety advisory on the flaws, tracked as CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523

Avast obtained AVG in 2016 for $1.3 billion. In accordance to the cybersecurity agency, the vulnerabilities have existed given that 2012 and, hence, could have impacted “dozens of hundreds of thousands of buyers around the world.”

CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523 had been located in the Avast Anti Rootkit driver, introduced in January 2012 and also used by AVG. The very first vulnerability was current in a socket connection handler utilised by the kernel driver aswArPot.sys, and for the duration of schedule operations, an attacker could hijack a variable to escalate privileges.

Protection products should run with substantial privilege stages, and so attackers equipped to exploit this flaw could most likely disable security answers, tamper with a goal running system, or conduct other malicious steps. 

The next vulnerability, CVE-2022-26523, is described as “incredibly very similar” to CVE-2022-26522 and was present in the aswArPot+0xc4a3 functionality. 

“Owing to the character of these vulnerabilities, they can be activated from sandboxes and might be exploitable in contexts other than just community privilege escalation,” SentinelLabs reported. “For case in point, the vulnerabilities could be exploited as aspect of a second-phase browser attack or to perform a sandbox escape, among the other options.”

SentinelLabs claimed the vulnerabilities to Avast on December 20, 2021. By January 4, the cybersecurity methods service provider experienced acknowledged the report and introduced fixes in Avast v.22.1 to offer with the vulnerabilities immediately after triage. 

The vulnerabilities had been patched by February 11. SentinelLabs said there is no proof of energetic exploitation in the wild. 

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End users must have acquired the needed updates routinely and do not have to have to take more motion. 

“The effects this could have on consumers and enterprises that fall short to patch is far-reaching and considerable,” the business additional. “We would like to thank Avast for their strategy to our disclosure and for rapidly remediating the vulnerabilities.” 

Avast informed ZDNet:

“Avast is an active participant in the coordinated vulnerability disclosure process, and we appreciate that SentinelOne has labored with us and supplied a in-depth examination of the vulnerabilities determined. SentinelOne noted two vulnerabilities, now tracked as CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523, to us on December 20, 2021. 

We labored on a fix produced in edition 22.1 in February 2022 and notified SentinelOne of this used correct. Avast and AVG users had been routinely up to date and are safeguarded against any hazard of exploitation, although we have not witnessed the vulnerabilities abused in the wild. We propose our Avast and AVG consumers regularly update their software program to the most up-to-date variation to be secured. Coordinated disclosure is an great way of avoiding threats from manifesting into assaults, and we stimulate participation in our bug bounty system.”

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