Researchers at eEye Digital Security have discovered malware with both botnet and worm characteristics that targets Symantec anti-virus software, not Microsoft applications.
Named Big Yellow, the malware exploits a flaw in the remote management interface of Symantec AntiVirus and Symantec Client Security. Attackers could use the malware to gain complete control of an infected system, according to the Aliso Viejo, Calif. endpoint security and research firm.
Symantec has patched the vulnerability, but many IT departments are not prepared for attacks on non-Microsoft applications, according to eEye, which discovered Big Yellow through its honey pot network.
Attacks on non-Microsoft applications should only become more common in the future because many IT professionals are unaware of their installation, said Marc Maiffret, eEye founder and CTO.
"IT urgently needs to understand that the new vector for attack will not come from Microsoft, but from the myriad applications that are scattered throughout its network," he said. "From anti-virus to iTunes, these non-Microsoft desktop applications, many of which IT is not even aware of, will become the enterprise's biggest point of vulnerability very, very quickly."
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