February
13
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Research Says Computers Left Vulnerable by Pre-Loaded Software

Kaspersky Lab researchers have recently released a report announcing that a “legitimate anti-theft software” can leave personal computer systems “vulnerable to remote hijack“, according to an article published by SC Magazine. The article states that this vulnerability impacts “millions of users with the activated installation” of this software on their computers.

Kaspersky’s findings, according to the article, outlined the product “Absolute Computrace” which was developed by the Texas-based company Absolute Software. The article confirms that their product page claims that the software “allows organizations to persistently track and secure all of their endpoints within a single cloud-based console” which is concerning to Kaspersky researchers. The research that Kaspersky experts have conducted “haven’t seen any evidence of Computrace’s weaknesses being used to carry out attacks“, but they have determined that “an attack on a local area network via address resolution protocol (ARP) poisoning was possible.”

The researcher’s report indicates that because this “tracking” software is “pre-installed in the firmware of laptops and desktops” and complex for users “to remove or disable“,  the flaws in its security are an obvious issue. The article quoted the report by stating, “The protocol used by the [Computrace] Small Agent provides the basic feature of remote code execution. The protocol doesn’t use any encryption or authorization with the remote server, which creates numerous opportunities for remote attacks in a hostile network environment.”

Read more about how this software may be activated on approximately “2 million computers around the global, with the majority of computers located in the U.S. and Russia” in the full article, here at SC Magazine.

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