RSS could aid worm attacks

A researcher has claimed that increased support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) in browsers could lead to a marked increase in botnet worm attacks.

In The Future of Bot Worms, David Sancho, a senior anti-virus research engineer at Trend Micro, pinpoints the built-in support for RSS that will be offered by Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7.0, due out next year, as a potentially dangerous moment.

RSS lets browsers update from websites automatically as new content is added. In the simplest scenario, Sancho foresees these legitimate links being redirected to sites containing malware.

From there, worms and other malware could be downloaded automatically, without user intervention or awareness.

Current anti-virus and firewall technology would not be able to stop such attacks because the hijacked RSS feeds would appear legitimate.

Indeed, distinguishing that an RSS feed had been changed and was pointing at a malware site is an inherently tricky task. Because RSS support is patchy and non-standard right now, malware writers would be likely to target one program, the most likely candidate being IE 7.

RSS has been supported with some limitations in Mozilla Firefox since November 2004. Integrating support into the Internet's most popular browser, Internet Explorer, is likely to dramatically increase its use, however.

Sancho recommends that companies make plans to scan and secure http traffic, if they are not already doing so.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?