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.

Risk

8/18/2009
06:33 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Hacker Indictments Highlight Application Security

As you probably know, A federal grand jury has indicted Albert Gonzales, 28, of Miami, Fla., for allegedly hacking into computers belonging to retail and financial companies and stealing more than 130 million credit and debit cards. And the hacking didn't involve anything more than standard SQL injection attacks.

As you probably know, A federal grand jury has indicted Albert Gonzales, 28, of Miami, Fla., for allegedly hacking into computers belonging to retail and financial companies and stealing more than 130 million credit and debit cards. And the hacking didn't involve anything more than standard SQL injection attacks.From Thomas Claburn's InformationWeek report yesterday

Gonzales, known online by the nicknames "segvec," "soupnazi" and "j4guar17," and two unidentified co-conspirators located in or near Russia, are charged with conducting SQL injection attacks on corporate computer networks.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the indictment represents the largest data breach indictment ever brought in the United States.

Simply put, a SQL injection attack is an attack that exploits a database, especially when user input isn't properly filtered. Essentially, attackers will craft strings that they inject until the database breaks -- and that break leaves the opening for infiltration. By having applications only accept properly structured and expected input, many of these attacks can be eliminated.

According to the indictment, it was SQL injection attacks that were used to infiltrate Heartland, 7-Eleven Inc., and Hannaford Brothers. Each of these were significant breaches.

While the perpetrators allegedly visited store locations, when they could, to footprint the point-of-sale systems used -- ultimately it was application flaws that enabled the attackers to crack the application. Once that occurs, it's relatively easy to plant malware and then the attacker is generally off to the races on the victim's server and network.

The pity is that SQL injection attacks are preventable. It just takes more time and a little extra effort to build a more resilient application.

Most everyone in information security knows this. The problem is, based on my chats with security managers, is getting the budget for a proper Web application security program. In a recent post, Firms Taking Web App Security (More) Seriously, we highlighted how companies tend to only take Web application security seriously after they've suffered a breach.

These indictments prove just how shortsighted that attitude is. Now might be a great time to use a little, just a little, FUD to try to begin to get that Web application security program in place.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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.