Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

11/17/2015
05:19 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Attack Attempt Numbers Down, But PoS Malware & Angler Up in Q3

Politically motivated cyberespionage groups also hard at work between July and September, according to Trend Micro.

Although Trend Micro has seen a decline in the number of threats since 2012 -- trending nearly 20 percent down -- point-of-sale attacks are increasing.

One reason for the general decline in threats is that over the years most threat actors have begun to prefer targeted attacks over the "shotgun approach" of blasting malware at anyone and everyone, according to the researchers. Conversely, PoS malware increased by 66% in Q3 because PoS hackers favor a shotgun approach.

Researchers suppose that the reason may be that attackers were widening their net to find new targets -- and it seems to have worked. Forty-five percent of the PoS malware was found in small- to medium-sized businesses, which are considered "easier and more lucrative prey," according to Trend Micro.

Some of the malware active in Q3 were a new GamaPOS variant spreading through the Andromeda botnet and Kasidet, a.k.a. Neutrino, which accounted for 12% of the PoS malware. 

PoS malware was also spreading through the Angler exploit kit, which Trend Micro found was by far the most active exploit kit in Q3.

There were 2.4 million URLs hosting Angler this quarter (a 34% increase from Q2). The second-most prevalent was Magnitude, far behind with only 480,000 URLs. Angler was also updated more often than other exploit kits, adding exploits for 13 new vulnerabilities -- including the Adobe Flash zero-days revealed in the Hacking Team breach.

There were also 3,000 Japanese websites dishing out Angler via a malvertising campaign in September. All of these factors contributed to Angler's success.

Angler may not come out top dog in Q4, though. Last month, Cisco Talos (collaborating with OpenDNS and Level 3 Threat Research) disrupted Angler's operations and compromised the exploit kit's infrastructure.

Trend Micro also saw two politically motivated cyberespionage groups -- Pawn Storm and Rocket Kitten -- hard at work in Q3.

In September, according to Trend Micro, Rocket Kitten went after Middle Eastern policy researchers, diplomatic facility personnel, international affairs personnel, defense and security personnel, and journalists. Rocket Kitten was also found trying to impersonate a security researcher from ClearSky in September.

Pawn Storm has focused on Russian dissidents. In Q3, 25% of Pawn Storm's targets were based in the Ukraine -- mostly military personnel, media, and government agencies -- 19% were based in the United States, six percent in the United Kingdom, and six percent in Russia. In August, Pawn Storm aimed attacks at Russian politicans and media, the Russian band Pussy Riot, and the CEO of a Russian software company. It even turned its attention on Trend Micro. After the company published a report about a Pawn Storm attack, the group changed an exploit-hosting domain so it redirected to a Trend Micro IP address.

(Pawn Storm has already made headlines in Q4, too. Trend Micro witnessed it using a unique Adobe Flash zero-day to attack foreign ministries in October.)

In its report, Trend Micro also pointed out a number of other significant events and developing trends that hit in Q3:

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
MaddieP
50%
50%
MaddieP,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2015 | 7:49:59 AM
Cant or can
I don't all understand but it looks very technical here
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.