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AVAST Universal Core Installer - Multiple Vulnerabilities
From: Vulnerability Lab <research () vulnerability-lab com>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:35:01 +0100
AVAST Universal Core Installer - Multiple Vulnerabilities
Common Vulnerability Scoring System:
Avast! (styled avast!) is - both freeware and payable - an antivirus computer program with user interface that includes
available to Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users. The name Avast is an acronym of `Anti-Virus – Advanced Set`.
and current logo of Avast! is a white orb with the letter `a` on it and an orange circle around it, sticking out to
Its developer, AVAST Software a.s. (formerly known as ALWIL Software a.s.), has headquartered in Prague, Czech
Republic, with offices
in Linz, Austria; Friedrichshafen, Germany; and San Mateo, California.
It has been awarded VB100 Award by Virus Bulletin multiple times for 100% detection of `in-the-wild` viruses, and also
won the Secure
Computing Readers`Trust Award. The central scanning engine has been certified by ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs`
Avast! competes in the antivirus industry against Avira, AVG Technologies, Bitdefender, F-Secure, Frisk, Kaspersky,
and Trend Micro among others.
(Copy of the Homepage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avast! )
The Vulnerability Laboratory Research Team discovered a persistent code injection and local command path injection
in the AVAST Universal Core Installer application software.
2013-06-06: Researcher Notification & Coordination (Ateeq Khan)
2013-06-07: Vendor Notification (AVAST! - Security Incident Team)
2013-06-09: Vendor Response/Feedback (AVAST! - Security Incident Team)
2013-**-**: Vendor Fix/Patch (AVAST! - Developer Team)
2013-06-28: Public Disclosure (Vulnerability Laboratory)
It has been discovered that the Core avast installer application is vulnerable to persistent code injection and local
command path injection vulnerability. During the testing, I was able to succesfully read/load and execute any
from local system having the local admin priviledges which makes this bug alot more interesting.
Initially the bug was an HTML code injection flaw only however, with more indepth analysis, it was revealed that the
of this vulnerability is far more differnt. A simple <a href> tag bypasses the AVAST Sandbox and drops a locall CMD
the system where AVAST is installed. You can technically access any file / application, execute it. It seems like We
explorer.exe and through that we are even able to browse local folders and access any file, we can even browse external
The bug exists in the Custom Install Section under Destination Field. Since proper input sanatization is not being
a user can insert any HTML code which then gets executed successfully. For a POC i used the <img> and <a href> tags to
and execute files from my local system. I believe there may be possibilities of multiple attack vectors keeping in mind
of this vulnerability.
During the POC, I was able to successfully bypass the AVAST sandbox and I was able to run local system level commands
using the AVAST Interface.
These sort of vulnerabilities can result in multiple attack vectors on the clients end which may eventually result in
complete compromise of
the end user system.
Exploitation of this vulnerability requires a low or medium user interaction. Successful exploitation of the
vulnerability may result
in malicious script code being executed resulting in local command/shell injection, persistent phishing, Client side
similar dangerous attacks.
[+] avast Premier Antivirus Installer - Latest Release
[+] avast Antivirus Pro Installer - Latest Release
[+] avast Free Antivirus Installer Version 8 - Latest Release
[+] avast Internet Security Suite Installer - Latest Release
[+] Custom Install
[+] Enter the Destination Directory
Proof of Concept:
The vulnerabilities can be exploited by local attackers with low system privilege account and low user interaction.
For demonstration or reproduce ...
a) Run the avast Premier Installer binary file (avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe)
b) Click on Custom Install
c) under the field "Enter the Destination directory" enter the following Payload
C:Program FilesAVAST SoftwareAvast<h1>Vulnerable<a href="cmd">ClickME
d) Click Next twice untill you reach the "Installation Information" Window
e) Scroll down and you should be able to see our Injected Payload.
f) If you click on "ClickME" you should get a CMD shell spawned on the local system hence proving the existence of this
g If you proceed with the installation and continue, the installation will fail eventually and once again in the Final
Install Log you
will see the executed payload.
Note: All tests were performed on a system running latest version of MicroSoft Windows 7 OS.
By default, no user should be allowed to inject HTML code in the application.
This can be mitigated by performing proper input sanatization of the vulnerable fields.
All illegal characters should also be escaped and application source code should be hardened overall.
Proper input encoding and format parse in the source code will fix this issue.
The security risk of these kinds of vulnerabilities are estimated as medium(+).
Vulnerability Laboratory [Research Team] - Ateeq Khan [ateeq () evolution-sec com]
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- AVAST Universal Core Installer - Multiple Vulnerabilities Vulnerability Lab (Jul 05)