Vulnerabilities / Threats
3/10/2014
06:42 AM
Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Quick Hits
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Defending Against Targeted Attacks Requires Human Touch, Speakers Say

Targeted attacks involve a human element that can be detected and stopped, speakers say at Dark Reading event

BOSTON -- SECURITY Conference 2014 -- Targeted attacks tend to be tailored individually, giving them an almost human quality that can be fingerprinted and prevented, according to speakers here on Thursday.

In a live event presented by Dark Reading and InformationWeek and sponsored by Trend Micro, keynote speakers and panelists offered a look at targeted attacks and how to defend against them.

While traditional cyberdefenses have generally focused on building a shield against mass-produced malware, targeted attacks are frequently unique and require a different sort of defense, the speakers said.

"We encourage enterprises to refocus their attention on who the attacker is, rather than just the methods they use," said keynote speaker George Kurtz, CEO and co-founder of CrowdStrike, which offers big data analysis and attribution services. "What we always say is that [enterprises] don't have a malware problem -- they have an adversary problem."

Trend Micro's J.D. Sherry pointed out that while targeted attacks tend to be tailored to the victim, they aren't always sophisticated. "In fact, most of these attacks are actually not very advanced," he said. "Many of them involve vulnerabilities that are years old and that could have been prevented if the victims had just stayed up-to-date with their patches."

Ninety-nine percent of targeted attacks are manually operated, which gives them an almost human quality that is quite different from mass-produced malware, said Harry Sverdlove, CTO of Bit9. "To detect this sort of attack usually means correlating several events on your network," he said.

Targeted attacks require a series of steps that can be stopped if they can be recognized, said Tim "TK" Keanini CTO at Lancope. "The bad guy has to pull off an entire process that may involve four to eight steps without being detected," he said. "And if they are detected, they have to start all over again. Interrupting this 'kill chain' is the key to increasing the attacker's cost and making it more difficult to complete the process."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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-2014-7052
Published: 2014-10-19
The sahab-alkher.com (aka com.tapatalk.sahabalkhercomvb) application 2.4.9.7 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-7056
Published: 2014-10-19
The Yeast Infection (aka com.wyeastinfectionapp) application 0.1 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-7070
Published: 2014-10-19
The Air War Hero (aka com.dev.airwar) application 3.0 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-7075
Published: 2014-10-19
The HAPPY (aka com.tw.knowhowdesign.sinfonghuei) application 2.0 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-7079
Published: 2014-10-19
The Romeo and Juliet (aka jp.co.cybird.appli.android.rjs) application 1.0.6 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

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.