Attacks/Breaches

6/19/2018
08:45 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Most Websites and Web Apps No Match for Attack Barrage

The average website is attacked 50 times per day, with small businesses especially vulnerable.

No matter how large or small, websites and web applications are under a constant barrage of attacks. Two new studies out today put a finer point on the numbers, showing just how frequently attacks hit the average website and how this constant pressure is yielding a huge number of compromised websites and web apps.

According to the Sitelock Website Security Insider Q1 2018 report, the average website today is attacked 50 times per day, with the vast majority of attacks coming through automated means. The study shows that 88% of traffic filtered by firewalls is from bad bots seeking to compromise sites. 

By casting a very wide and automated net, attackers who hit their marks even a slim percentage of the time stand to compromise a huge volume of sites. The study shows that about 1% of sampled sites studied by analysts are infected with malware. That means at any given moment, 18.7 million sites around the world are infected by some form of malware.

"Based on the numbers we've seen, it has become clear that no website is too small to hack," says Jessica Ortega, a web security research analyst at SiteLock. "As cybercriminals become more sophisticated and continue to hone their craft, small businesses will need to keep up by taking a proactive, holistic approach to website security." 

In addition to studying websites, the SiteLock study surveyed small business owners about their attitudes with regard to website security and found that they may not understand the severity of the danger. Approximately 42% of the respondents said their biggest website security fear is defacement — but most security veterans know this kind of attack is the least of a website's worries. The study shows that only about 18% of site infections have anything to do with that. More common are backdoor files being placed on the site — 44% of the time — or filehacker files designed to modify or create additional malicious files, at 49% of the time.

And, of course, the 1% incidence rate of infection is only an average. Plenty of risk factors can greatly increase infection rates. For example, WordPress sites are two times more likely to be infected than non-CMS sites, according to SiteLock. 

In a separate study released today by Positive Technologies, 96% of all web applications were found to have some form of vulnerability that could be turned against their users — with one in two apps vulnerable to unauthorized access. In addition, approximately 44% of web apps today place users' personal data at risk of theft, with 70% vulnerable to leaks of information critical to the business. 

"Web application security is still poor and, despite increasing awareness of the risks, is still not being prioritized enough in the development process," says Leigh-Anne Galloway, cybersecurity resilience lead at Positive Technologies. "Most of these issues could have been prevented entirely by implementing secure development practices, including code audits from the start and throughout."

Related Content:

 

 

Top industry experts will offer a range of information and insight on who the bad guys are – and why they might be targeting your enterprise. Click for more information

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Google Engineering Lead on Lessons Learned From Chrome's HTTPS Push
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/8/2018
White Hat to Black Hat: What Motivates the Switch to Cybercrime
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/8/2018
PGA of America Struck By Ransomware
Dark Reading Staff 8/9/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Now about that mortgage refinance offer from Wells Fargo .....
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-6970
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-13
VMware Horizon 6 (6.x.x before 6.2.7), Horizon 7 (7.x.x before 7.5.1), and Horizon Client (4.x.x and prior before 4.8.1) contain an out-of-bounds read vulnerability in the Message Framework library. Successfully exploiting this issue may allow a less-privileged user to leak information from a privil...
CVE-2018-14781
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-13
Medtronic MMT 508 MiniMed insulin pump, 522 / MMT - 722 Paradigm REAL-TIME, 523 / MMT - 723 Paradigm Revel, 523K / MMT - 723K Paradigm Revel, and 551 / MMT - 751 MiniMed 530G The models identified above, when paired with a remote controller and having the "easy bolus" and "remote bolu...
CVE-2018-15123
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-13
Insecure configuration storage in Zipato Zipabox Smart Home Controller BOARD REV - 1 with System Version -118 allows remote attacker perform new attack vectors and take under control device and smart home.
CVE-2018-15124
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-13
Weak hashing algorithm in Zipato Zipabox Smart Home Controller BOARD REV - 1 with System Version -118 allows unauthenticated attacker extract clear text passwords and get root access on the device.
CVE-2018-15125
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-13
Sensitive Information Disclosure in Zipato Zipabox Smart Home Controller allows remote attacker get sensitive information that expands attack surface.