Vulnerabilities / Threats
8/25/2010
10:35 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Vulnerability Disclosures Increase By 36% In 2010

IBM report finds "escape to hypervisor" attacks a growing virtualization concern.




Slideshow: Cloud Security Pros And Cons
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
Vulnerability disclosures have reached record levels, with 4,396 new vulnerabilities documented in the first half of 2010 -- a 36% increase over the same period last year. That's according to a new IBM X-Force report, released Wednesday.

Web applications accounted for the majority (55%) of those vulnerability disclosures, but IBM's report cautioned that many more vulnerabilities may exist in custom web applications.

Obfuscated attacks, which allow attackers to sneak malicious code past traditional security tools, increased 52% from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010. JavaScript obfuscation is one particularly popular attack, said IBM, because it allows attackers "to hide their exploits within document files and web pages."

But three of the five most popular online attacks seen by IBM in the first half of 2010 involved PDF exploits. Such attacks peaked in April during a widespread spam campaign, largely driven by Zeus and Pushdo botnets distributing massive quantities of malicious PDF files via e-mail.

The good security news for the year to date is that phishing attacks have significantly declined, although the attack's primary impetus -- stealing financial data -- remains the same. Reviewing phishing e-mails, IBM found that the principal target is financial institutions (for 49% of attacks), followed by credit cards (28%), government agencies (11%), online payments (6%), and auctions (5%).

Today, virtualization vulnerabilities account for only a small subset of all code vulnerabilities. But IBM warned there's still cause for concern with virtualization security, since "35% of vulnerabilities impacting server class virtualization systems affect the hypervisor." The hypervisor is responsible for providing the platform on which guest operating systems run.

By hacking the hypervisor or gaining control of one of the virtual systems and using an "escape to hypervisor" vulnerability, an attacker might gain access to any system running on the same PC or server. The upshot is that businesses should think "about the wisdom of sharing workloads with different security requirements on the same physical hardware," according to IBM's report.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6306
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability on IBM Power 7 Systems 740 before 740.70 01Ax740_121, 760 before 760.40 Ax760_078, and 770 before 770.30 01Ax770_062 allows local users to gain Service Processor privileges via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-0232
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in framework/common/webcommon/includes/messages.ftl in Apache OFBiz 11.04.01 before 11.04.05 and 12.04.01 before 12.04.04 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, which are not properly handled in a (1)...

CVE-2014-3525
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Apache Traffic Server 4.2.1.1 and 5.x before 5.0.1 has unknown impact and attack vectors, possibly related to health checks.

CVE-2014-3563
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in Salt (aka SaltStack) before 2014.1.10 allow local users to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to temporary file creation in (1) seed.py, (2) salt-ssh, or (3) salt-cloud.

CVE-2014-3587
Published: 2014-08-22
Integer overflow in the cdf_read_property_info function in cdf.c in file through 5.19, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.32 and 5.5.x before 5.5.16, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a crafted CDF file. NOTE: this vulnerability exists bec...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.