Risk
7/28/2008
00:00 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Security Report Released; Browser plug-ins and gamers are targets

According to the just released IBM X-Force 2008 Midyear Trend Statistics security report, 94 percent of all browser-related online exploits occurred within 24 hours of official vulnerability disclosure. These "zero-day" exploits are on the Internet before people even know they have a vulnerability that needs to be patched in their systems.

The report believes that criminals' adoption of automated tools for creating and delivering exploit tools, and the lack of a set protocol for disclosing vulnerabilities in the research industry, are behind the trend. Disclosing exploit code and a security advisory has been accepted practice for many security researchers although, says the report, vulnerabilities disclosed by independent researchers are twice as likely to have zero-day exploit code published.

From his perspective, X-Force Operations Manager Kris Lamb believes "the two major themes in the first half of 2008 were acceleration and proliferation. We see a considerable acceleration in the time a vulnerability is disclosed to when it is exploited, with an accompanying proliferation of vulnerabilities overall. Without a unified process for disclosing vulnerabilities, the research industry runs the risk of actually fueling online criminal activity. There's a reason why X-Force doesn't publish exploit code for the vulnerabilities we have found, and perhaps it is time for others in our field to reconsider this practice."

Findings from the X-Force report include:

  • Browser plug-ins are the target-of-choice. The threat landscape has evolved from the operating system to the Web browser to browser plug- ins. In the first six months of 2008, roughly 78 percent of web browser exploits targeted browser plug-ins.
  • One-off manual attacks are growing into massive automated attacks. More than half of all vulnerability disclosures were related to web server applications. SQL injection vulnerabilities, in particular, jumped from 25 percent in 2007 to 41 percent of all web server application vulnerabilities in the first half of 2008, and corresponded with a rash of automated attacks that compromised servers in an effort to compromise more endpoint systems.
  • Spammers go back to basics. The complex spam of 2007 (image-based spam, file attachment spam, etc.) has almost disappeared and now spammers are using simple URL spam. This spam generally consists of a few simple words and a URL, making it difficult for spam filters to detect. Approximately 90 percent of spam is now URL spam.
  • Russia continues to be origin of most spam. Russia is responsible for 11 percent of the world's spam followed by Turkey with 8 percent and then the U.S. with 7.1 percent.
  • Online gamers are targets. As online games and virtual communities continue to gain popularity, they are becoming an enticing target for cyber- criminals. The X-Force report indicates that the top four password-stealing Trojans were all aimed at gamers. The goal is to steal gamers' virtual assets selling them for real money in online market places.
  • Financial institutions remain key targets for phishers. All but two of the top 20 phishing targets were financial institutions.
  • Secure virtualization grows in importance. Virtualization-related vulnerability disclosures have tripled since 2006 and are likely to increase as virtualized environments become more widespread.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4594
Published: 2014-10-25
The Payment for Webform module 7.x-1.x before 7.x-1.5 for Drupal does not restrict access by anonymous users, which allows remote anonymous users to use the payment of other anonymous users when submitting a form that requires payment.

CVE-2014-0476
Published: 2014-10-25
The slapper function in chkrootkit before 0.50 does not properly quote file paths, which allows local users to execute arbitrary code via a Trojan horse executable. NOTE: this is only a vulnerability when /tmp is not mounted with the noexec option.

CVE-2014-1927
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly quote strings, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "$(" command-substitution sequences, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-1928....

CVE-2014-1928
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly escape characters, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "\" (backslash) characters to form multi-command sequences, a different vulner...

CVE-2014-1929
Published: 2014-10-25
python-gnupg 0.3.5 and 0.3.6 allows context-dependent attackers to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to "option injection through positional arguments." NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE-2013-7323.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.