Researchers Exhibit How EDR and Antivirus Can Be Weaponized In opposition to Customers

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Dec 12, 2022Ravie LakshmananEndpoint Detection / Information Safety

Excessive-severity safety vulnerabilities have been disclosed in numerous endpoint detection and response (EDR) and antivirus (AV) merchandise that may very well be exploited to show them into information wipers.

“This wiper runs with the permissions of an unprivileged consumer but has the power to wipe nearly any file on a system, together with system recordsdata, and make a pc utterly unbootable,” SafeBreach Labs researcher Or Yair said. “It does all that with out implementing code that touches the goal recordsdata, making it totally undetectable.”

EDR software program, by design, are able to frequently scanning a machine for probably suspicious and malicious recordsdata, and taking applicable motion, reminiscent of deleting or quarantining them.

The concept, in a nutshell, is to trick susceptible safety merchandise into deleting reliable recordsdata and directories on the system and render the machine inoperable by making use of specifically crafted paths.


That is achieved by profiting from what’s referred to as a junction point (aka delicate hyperlink), the place a listing serves as an alias to a different listing on the pc.

Put in another way, between the window the EDR software program identifies a file as malicious and makes an attempt to delete the file from the system, the attacker makes use of a junction to level the software program in direction of a distinct path, like C: drive.

The method, nevertheless, did not lead to a wipe as EDRs prevented additional entry to a file after it was flagged as malicious. What’s extra, ought to the rogue file be deleted by the consumer, the software program was intelligent sufficient to detect the deletion and cease itself from performing on it.

The last word answer arrived within the type of a wiper device, dubbed Aikido, that triggers the privileged delete by making a malicious file at a decoy listing and never granting it any permission, inflicting the EDRs to postpone the delete till subsequent reboot.

Given this new assault interval, all an adversary has to do is delete the listing containing the rogue file, create a junction to level to the goal listing to be deleted, and reboot the system.

Profitable weaponization of the method may consequence within the deletion of system recordsdata like drivers, stopping the working system from booting. It may also be abused to take away all recordsdata from administrator consumer directories.

Out of 11 safety merchandise that have been examined, six have been discovered susceptible to the zero-day wiper exploit, prompting the distributors to launch updates to deal with the shortcoming –

“The wiper executes its malicious actions utilizing essentially the most trusted entity on the system — the EDR or AV,” Yair stated. “EDRs and AVs don’t forestall themselves from deleting recordsdata.”

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