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.

Attacks/Breaches

New Verizon Business Report Outlines 15 Most Common Attacks

Keylogging and spyware are among the most commonly found exploits in breached companies, report says

Keyloggers and spyware are the most commonly occurring attacks in companies that suffer major data breaches, according to a report published today by Verizon Business.

The new report, "2009 Supplemental Data Breach Investigations Report: An Anatomy of a Data Breach," offers a look at the 15 most common security attacks and how they typically unfold. The data is extracted from Verizon Business' April 2009 study of its computer forensics service customers, all of whom have experienced a major data breach.

The report taps Verizon Business' detailed investigative records to identify, rank, and profile the most common attacks. For each type of attack, the report provides real-world scenarios, the warning signs, how the attack is orchestrated, how attackers got in, what information they took, what assets the attackers targeted, what industries are commonly affected, and what countermeasures are effective. In total, the report details nearly 150 ways to detect and combat security threats. This latest installment in Verizon's data breach study series is based on the "2009 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report," issued in April. That landmark study analyzed more than 90 forensic investigations involving 285 million compromised records.

"We developed this report to answer a lot of the questions we've received about the report we issued in April," says Wade Baker, research and intelligence analyst at Verizon Business and one of the authors of the report. "We plot out the most common attacks and some of the indicators that can be used to spot them."

The report identifies and ranks by frequency the following top 15 types of attacks:

1. Keylogging and spyware: Malware specifically designed to covertly collect, monitor, and log the actions of a system user.

2. Backdoor or command/control: Tools that provide remote access to or control of infected systems, or both, and are designed to run covertly.

3. SQL injection: An attack technique used to exploit how Web pages communicate with back-end databases.

4. Abuse of system access/privileges: Deliberate and malicious abuse of resources, access, or privileges granted to an individual by an organization.

5. Unauthorized access via default credentials: Instances in which an attacker gains access to a system or device protected by standard preset (widely known) usernames and passwords.

6. Violation of acceptable use and other policies: Accidental or purposeful disregard of acceptable use policies.

7. Unauthorized access via weak or misconfigured access control lists (ACLs): When ACLs are weak or misconfigured, attackers can access resources and perform actions not intended by the victim.

8. Packet sniffer: Monitors and captures data traversing a network.

9. Unauthorized access via stolen credentials: Instances in which an attacker gains access to a protected system or device using valid but stolen credentials.

10. Pretexting or social engineering: A social engineering technique in which the attacker invents a scenario to persuade, manipulate, or trick the target into performing an action or divulging information. 11. Authentication bypass: Circumvention of normal authentication mechanisms to gain unauthorized access to a system.

12. Physical theft of asset: Physically stealing an asset.

13. Brute-force attack: An automated process of iterating through possible username/password combinations until one is successful.

14. RAM scraper: A fairly new form of malware designed to capture data from volatile memory (RAM) within a system.

15. Phishing (and endless "ishing" variations): A social engineering technique in which an attacker uses fraudulent electronic communications (usually email) to lure the recipient into divulging information.

In addition to the extensive threat catalog, the supplemental report includes an appendix that compares Verizon's caseload with DataLossDB, a public database of reported incidents worldwide.

"We developed the appendix to address some questions and concerns that people had expressed about the April report, which showed that internal threats weren't that prevalent," Baker says. "But when we went through the DataLossDB, we found that our numbers and theirs weren't really all that far apart."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" 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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
NSA Appoints Rob Joyce as Cyber Director
Dark Reading Staff 1/15/2021
Vulnerability Management Has a Data Problem
Tal Morgenstern, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Vulcan Cyber,  1/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27852
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
A stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the survey feature in Rocketgenius Gravity Forms before 2.4.21 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a textarea field. This code is interpreted by users in a privileged role (Administrator, Editor, etc.).
CVE-2021-3137
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
XWiki 12.10.2 allows XSS via an SVG document to the upload feature of the comment section.
CVE-2020-27850
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
A stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in forms import feature in Rocketgenius Gravity Forms before 2.4.21 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the import of a GF form. This code is interpreted by users in a privileged role (Administrator, Editor, etc.).
CVE-2020-27851
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
Multiple stored HTML injection vulnerabilities in the "poll" and "quiz" features in an additional paid add-on of Rocketgenius Gravity Forms before 2.4.21 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTML code via poll or quiz answers. This code is interpreted by users in a privile...
CVE-2020-13134
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
Tufin SecureChange prior to R19.3 HF3 and R20-1 HF1 are vulnerable to stored XSS. The successful exploitation requires admin privileges (for storing the XSS payload itself), and can exploit (be triggered by) admin users. All TOS versions with SecureChange deployments prior to R19.3 HF3 and R20-1 HF1...