Microsoft fixes Defender flaw letting hackers bypass antivirus scans

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Microsoft has recently addressed a weakness in the Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows that allowed attackers to plant and execute malicious payloads without triggering Defender's malware detection engine.

This security flaw [1, 2] affected the latest Windows 10 versions, and threat attackers could abuse it since at least 2014.

As BleepingComputer previously reported, the flaw resulted from lax security settings for the "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions" Registry key. This key contains the list of locations (files, folders, extensions, or processes) excluded from Microsoft Defender scanning.

Exploiting the weakness was possible because the Registry key was accessible by the 'Everyone' group.