Malware is widely bypassing AV and other controls, getting backed up like any legitimate data, and re-infecting enterprise systems during restore.
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When malware slips past antivirus, it can get swept up in an enterprise's system backup and ultimately reinfect systems when the company restores applications from its contaminated backup.
Oliver Friedrichs, head of Sourcefire's cloud technology group, says this cycle occurs more often than you'd think. Friedrichs recently analyzed data collected from more than 2 million Sourcefire users during a one-month period and found that backup and file restoration applications often inadvertently restore malware.
His findings: During a one-month period, DropBox, a cloud-based file-sharing and backup service, restored 17,705 threats; Maxtor Backup and Restore's MaxSynch, 5,076 threats; 2BrightSparks SynchBack backup software, 165 threats; and FreeFileSync, 104 threats. These were users that had been running traditional AV products.
"We've historically talked about backing up malware as a hypothetical ... we assume it's been happening, but there hasn't been a clear way to see how frequently it's been taking place," Friedrichs says. "This [analysis] is a confirmation and affirmation that it is happening. We should be concerned about it and aware of backing up malware and then restoring malware."
Friedrichs says this demonstrates how malware is widely bypassing AV and other controls and then getting backed up like any legitimate data or files. Once the backup is "polluted," he says, if it is used to restore a system, [the malware] would also be restored onto the system once again.
Is this an AV or a backup problem? Gleb Budman, co-founder and CEO of cloud-based backup service provider Backblaze, says his firm had explored whether it should provide malware scanning as part of its online backup service. But it just didn't make sense, for two reasons: "We encrypt all of the files [backed up] so they can't be scanned in our data center," Budman says. "We could scan on your client AV in our backup agent on your system--we thought about that--but if a user is already running AV, they would run it, then we would run it, and we'd be using up system resources twice. That seems kind of silly."
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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.
So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?
Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?
Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.