Secure Image Viewer/Organizer?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Devinco, Jun 27, 2006.

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  1. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    I don't know about you guys and gals, but I am sick and tired of wondering if the next image I view or open will cause some kind of buffer overflow/zero day exploit/etc.

    Isn't there a secure image viewer / organizer that would prevent any current or future malevolent activity related to viewing or organizing images?
    It would need to be designed with security in mind.
    Something that can not be buffer overflowed or fooled by malformed headers or ALL the other image related hacker tricks. It should also fix or replace the "Magic Bytes" issue with a secure solution if possible. It should also fix or replace the Windows Explorer method of viewing thumbnails so the secure viewer can't be bypassed. When you click on or preview a "picture" that is actually in some way a hidden executable, there should be no way that should do anything other than show a garbled picture (or thumbnail) in the secure viewer/previewer.

    This program should integrate seamlessly with the OS so viewing images would be as easy as in Windows Explorer. Ideally, it would be easier and more functional.
    A viewer alone would be fine, but even better would be a good image organizer that would be fast and not take forever building thumbnails and be searchable. It should handle the most popular image formats. Something reliable and really useful.

    Does anything like this exist?
    Should programmers/developers create it? If not, why?
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Well you could:
    Use limited account.
    Use DefenseWall or similar app to make your image viewing software untrusted.
    Use DropMyRights for the same purpose.
    Use Linux.

    BTW, the danger might not be as hot as you think. If you use a proper browsing configuration that filters out the garbage (Firefox & extensions, Proxomitron etc.), you can "clean" the content before downloading.

    You could also scan your images with AV, AT.

    Mrk
     
  3. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Mrk,

    Definately not a hot topic since the jpeg and wmf exploits have been patched long ago. But at least one of the underlying problems remains (Magic Bytes) waiting for the next exploit to be discovered.

    Thank you for all the helpful suggestions!
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Irfanview is set, by default, to ask you before changing the extension. The problem is that you never know what apps will be affected by any such exploit. There are only so many ways to display an image.

    Another thing you can get is something like JPG Cleaner. I haven't tried it for the kind of scenario that you're speaking of but it removes anything from the file that isn't just the image itself, so in theory it should work.
     
  5. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Notok,

    Even windows xp explorer will ask you if you are sure you want to change a file extension. And most any graphics program worth their salt will add the proper file extension for you when you save it.

    They patch this exploit and that exploit but they decide to keep the same vulnerable behaviors underneath that will allow these type of exploits to continue. Maybe next time it will be a malformed .wav file or a new angle on the old .wmf exploit.

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but I think that if you try to open or preview a specific file type (whatever the extension as long as it is not a designated executable) and the file is somehow malformed, it should be impossible for that "document" file to execute any code. The worst it should be able to do is show garbage on the preview. All these patches seem to me like they are just covering up an inherently flawed system instead of actually fixing the real problems. What do you think?

    That looks like a useful utility even if only used for stripping useless info from a bloated jpeg. I have no way to actually test it on the old jpeg exploit as I don't like to keep those kinds of things on my computer.
    Thanks for letting me know about it!

    I guess I am looking for something like that utility that strips out all the garbage and gives me just the image combined with a viewer previewer that would handle the most popular formats and would somehow integrate with windows so the viewer couldn't be bypassed (and use explorer) to exploit the OS.
    Or, some utility, tweak, or (cough) patch that actually fixes this OS behavior so that "document" files won't be allowed to execute code, no matter what the error.
     
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