Vulnerability turns McAfee's anti-malware solution into open relay

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 19, 2012

Flaw allows for spam to be sent through customers' PCs.

A vulnerability discovered in McAfee's SaaS for Total Protection, the company's hosted anti-malware solution, effectively turns a customer's machine into an open relay, allowing others to send spam through it.

Open relays allow anyone to send mail through a machine to any recipient - thus making them ideal tools for spammers. Because of email's store-and-forward principle, open relays were common during the very early days of the Internet. However, the rise of spam quickly prompted almost all administrators to turn off their open relays - and where they do still exist, they are usually the result of a misconfiguration.

The vulnerability in McAfee's software could potentially allow attackers to connect to customers' machines using TCP port 6515 and then use the machine to send spam. This in turn could lead to the machine being considered part of a botnet. Of course, this has caused serious embarrassment for McAfee - not least because anti-malware solutions are supposed to prevent this from happening.

McAfee has released a patch which will instruct the software not to respond to most port 6515 requests. The patch will be posted through updates.

More at McAfee's blog here, which also mentions another vulnerability in an ActiveX control which can be used to execute arbitrary code. ZDNet's take on the story is here.

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Virus Bulletin



Latest posts:

New paper: Collector-stealer: a Russian origin credential and information extractor

In a new paper, F5 researchers Aditya K Sood and Rohit Chaturvedi present a 360 analysis of Collector-stealer, a Russian-origin credential and information extractor.

VB2021 localhost videos available on YouTube

VB has made all VB2021 localhost presentations available on the VB YouTube channel, so you can now watch - and share - any part of the conference freely and without registration.

VB2021 localhost is over, but the content is still available to view!

VB2021 localhost - VB's second virtual conference - took place last week, but you can still watch all the presentations.

VB2021 localhost call for last-minute papers

The call for last-minute papers for VB2021 localhost is now open. Submit before 20 August to have your paper considered for one of the slots reserved for 'hot' research!

New article: Run your malicious VBA macros anywhere!

Kurt Natvig explains how he recompiled malicious VBA macro code to valid harmless Python 3.x code.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.