NCSC releases new tool to scan for malware vulnerabilities | #microsoft | #hacking | #cybersecurity


A new programme from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been created to make it easier for organisations to scan for potential malware vulnerabilities in their systems.

Scanning Made Easy (SME) collects NMAP Scripting Engine scripts and is aimed at helping owners and administrators locate systems with specific vulnerabilities.

The new system has been designed to be straightforward and reliable, reducing the risk of false positives or negatives.

The new programme was created in collaboration with the Industry 100, a collection of representatives from the public and private sector who provide the NCSC with their collective expertise.

With the i100 authoring the scripts, they conform to the NCSC Scanning Made Easy Script Developer Guidelines. A summary is included with each script that describes how it will verify the vulnerability.

Commenting on the project, CSO at Uleska Gary Robinson said: “This project shows the future of cyber will be collaborative, with many persons and organisations coming together to help the industry solve problems better, in the vein of OWASP, Kali Linux, and other such collaborations.

“As we see time and time again, and as Log4Shell highlighted, having a way to check for a vulnerability is the first step

“Managing the use of such vulnerability checks, across diverse technologies, especially in companies with lots of tech and teams, and understanding the likelihood and impact of each vulnerability, is what is needed to make these checks effective and protect our businesses.”

He added: “It’s great to see initiatives like this that build a sharing community and easier way to project manage those checks, and we look forward to the future of this initiative.”


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Many of the biggest cyberattacks of 2021, such as Microsoft Exchange or Log4j, saw software providers scramble to release patches to cover a newly revealed vulnerability. The result was a race between organisations running software to patch their systems and threat actors to deploy malware that exploits the vulnerabilities.

As such, knowing if you are running a vulnerable system is vital to staying ahead of a potential attack.

However, the NCSC noted that when a software vulnerability is disclosed, it is often easier to find proof-of-concept code to exploit it, than it is to find tools that will help defend your network. To make matters worse, even when there is a scanning script available, it can be difficult to know if it is safe to run, let alone whether it returns valid scan results.

With the list of vulnerabilities constantly growing as new ones are discovered, the NCSC warned it cannot provide a script for every single vulnerability. However, it said that it plans to develop and review its list of scripts for critical vulnerabilities.


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