I hadn’t given this topic any thought, but eWeek’s Jim Rapozas asks whether RSS could become a new platform for spreading viruses and trojans.
His reasoning comes from Microsoft’s plans to a integrate RSS support with IE7 and the new operating system, Vista.
While some might suggest we have nothing to worry about and Rapozas is simply looking to spread some FUD, it certainly could happen. When you consider that IE and Windows are constanly the focus of virus and trojan attacks – due to them being so widely used – Microsoft’s adoption of RSS could give cause to make it a focus for attack.
One of the ways RSS could be utilized to spread malicious content is via the RSS enclosure tag.
There really isn’t anything stopping someone from delivering malware such as viruses or spyware through an RSS feed enclosure tag. Some will say that this is unlikely to happen, as people will know from the feed where the content is originating. But recent experiences with malware delivered through Web sites show that getting bad content onto legitimate sites isn’t a problem for the bad guys.
Perhaps someone that knows more about the RSS standard than me, can chime in and give their thoughts on whether this kind of stuff could happen.