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NCC ADVISES ON AUTOMATIC UPDATE OF ANTI-VIRUSES TO AVOID VULNERABILITY

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By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief) @CelestineOkaf11

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has advised telecom consumers and other Information and Communications Technology (ICT) end-users on the need to always enable automatic update features for AVAST and AVG antiviruses to prevent potential cyber vulnerabilities.

This was contained in a new advisory released by the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the cybersecurity centre for the telecom sector established by the Commission, in continuation of its resolve to always keep Nigerians safe in the cyberspace.

The advisory noted that cyber vulnerability in AVAST and AVG Antiviruses can lead to attacks on millions of devices with high impact in terms of consequences to the ICT user. The threat types as a result of this vulnerability are Bypass Authentication, Remote Code Execution and Unauthorised Access while consequences range from Privilege Escalation, Bypass Security Products, and Overwrite Systems Components, and corruption of the Operating System.

According to CSIRT, researchers at SentinelOne security firm have discovered two potentially damaging vulnerabilities in AVAST and AVG antivirus products that allow attackers to escalate privileges enabling them to disable security products and overwrite system components, corrupt the operating system, or perform malicious operations unimpeded.

“Two vulnerabilities identified as CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523 targeted the “Anti Rootkit” driver of Avast antivirus (also used by AVG) allowing an attacker with limited privileges on the targeted system to execute code in system mode (kernel mode) and take complete control of the device. Moreover, the vulnerabilities allow complete take-over of a device, even without privileges, due to the ability to execute code in kernel mode,” the CSIRT said in the advisory.

However, the cybersecurity center has offered tripartite measures that should be taken by Internet/ICT users to prevent being vulnerable to the cyber threats. They include enabling the automatic update features for AVAST and AVG antiviruses, upgrading AVAST and AVG antiviruses to version 22.1.2504, as well as carrying out regular patch management. NNL.

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