Avast has disabled a component in its Windows anti-malware suite that posed, ironically enough, a significant security risk.
1/2-Last week, 3/4 @taviso reported a vulnerability to us in one of our emulators, which in theory could have been abused for RCE. On 3/9 he released a tool to simplify vuln. analysis in the emulator. Today, to protect our hundreds of millions of users, we disabled the emulator.— Avast (@avast_antivirus) March 11, 2020
"Despite being highly privileged and processing untrusted input by design, it is unsandboxed and has poor mitigation coverage," Ormandy explained earlier this week. It should be noted Ormandy did not disclose any specific bugs.
A couple days after the analysis tool was released, the vendor opted to do away with the emulator entirely. It does not believe the removal will significantly impact the suite's ability to detect malware. The swift action was applauded by Ormandy.
The vulnerability report they mention wasn't just me, it was a Project Zero collaboration with @natashenka 🔥🔥🔥
I think this is the right decision, it was a *lot* of attack surface. https://t.co/iFyry17HD0
Praise from the security community has been hard for Avast to come by lately. Earlier this week, the vendor took heat after it was revealed its AntiTrack tool contained security blunders that could have been exploited by man-in-the-middle snoopers to eavesdrop on supposedly secure website connections. ®