Stegosploit: Hacking with Images

Thousands of images are uploaded to the Internet every day, but what if I told you that simply looking at an image in your browser might infect your computer with malware? Image malware is an excellent approach for cyber crooks to conduct a surprise attack. Most users do not believe that a simple image file is dangerous. As a result, attacks like "Stegosploit" are highly damaging to businesses and individuals. So, what exactly is Stegosploit? Let's go a little deeper.

What is Stegosploit?

To exploit, Stegsploit employs the concept of digital stenography, which involves disguising a file within another one.

  • Stegosploit is a sort of malware that is hidden in an image's extra-data portion. The malware is a JavaScript code that a browser can load and execute. The script may download harmful payloads, post data, and run malicious programs automatically.

  • Saumil Shah, a security researcher, created Stegosploit. It was presented by the researcher at the recent "Hack in the Box Conference" in Amsterdam.

  • The fantastic part is that the spyware is embedded in an image that appears to be innocent. As a result, detecting and blocking this type of assault is tough.

How Does Stegosploit Work?

The image may appear unchanged when the exploit is decoded, depending on the layer where the JavaScript is contained. Because the method disperses the executable code across the image file, it is almost undetectable by today's antivirus software. Detecting hidden code would necessitate scanning every byte in a picture, resulting in significantly reduced load performance.

  • The method necessitated two images: one to hold the executable code and decode it. However, the executable code and the decoder are now contained within the same picture. Both PNG and JPEG images can be used for this strategy.

  • This new technique is ideal for unscrupulous hackers because the executable code and the decoder are combined. It might be added to any webpage - for example, Instagram, Twitter, Imgur, dating profiles, and so on - as long as the file size remains the same.

  • Unsuspecting victims viewing the photo online will be instantly compromised without clicking or downloading the image. The Stegosploit approach can affect Internet browsers with security flaws that haven't been addressed.

Have Any Stegosploit Attacks Been Recorded?

There have been no reports that Stegosploit has been used in real life. This isn't to say it won't happen. It's also worth noting that hackers can use this technique to do almost anything, including stealing the victim's personal information, changing files, and opening a backdoor for other software.

Precautionary Measures

It'll only be a matter of time before hackers start using malware distribution methods like Stegosploit. So, here are some safety precautions to follow to avoid such attacks −

  • To see or download photographs, go to reputable and well-known websites.

  • Don't click on picture links in emails, especially if they're from an unknown or unwelcome sender.

  • Make sure your browsers, operating system, and applications are all patched and up to date.

  • Install antivirus software that stops harmful websites, spam, and infected emails on your computer.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2022

2K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started