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FW: Authencity of AV downloads
From: "Jack Solomon" <solzjack43 () hotmail com>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 09:57:21 +0000

Raghu

Sophos Enterprise Manager Library performs integrity checking to ensure that the AV product and the virus signatures are authentic. This is to prevent virus authors from subverting the AV product itself. I'd advise you to go to sophos.com/support/docs and read the EM1.1 manual.

Good luck!

Jack


-----Original Message-----
From: Raghu Chinthoju [mailto:chraghu_ml () mailcan com]
Sent: 06 March 2004 20:03
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Authencity of AV downloads


Hi Group,

I have been looking at the virus definition files distribution mechanism
of few of the Antivirus vendors like McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, ESafe etc.
None of these folks provide any authenticity like MD5 hashes, PGP
signatures etc along with these downloads, nor these files are encrypted
in some form, nor do their sites run any secure web services. The files
are downloadable from plain HTTP and FTP servers. The same is the case
with download of the virus removal tools like stinger etc. The sole
authenticity of the downloaded stuff depends on "how authentic the domain
name to IP resolution is" OR "how secure the name services in the path
from my PC to the AV vendor are"! In my opinion, it is relatively easy to
compromise plain DNS. Things can get worse if the AV vendors name server
itself is compromised! May be I'm not the first to raise this, but how
come these AV vendors have not acted upon this (hope I'm not missing any
thing here)?

Your thoughts?

Regards,
Raghu

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