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.


04:22 PM

Next-Generation Threats: The Inside Story

Cutting-edge attacks like Stuxnet and Zeus will be the everyday security challenges of tomorrow. Here's what you need to know.

Wicked Innovation

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in November that the nation's nuclear program had been hit by a software attack, he confirmed what many security researchers suspected: that Stuxnet had struck, modifying key systems that controlled the motors of the centrifuges used to process uranium.

Ahmadinejad downplayed the attack's impact, but security researchers think the damage is far more extensive than he let on. A steady increase in Iranian traffic to Web sites dealing with securing industrial control systems indicates that the country's IT experts are searching for an answer to a persistent threat, says Eric Byres, CTO and co-founder of Tofino Industrial Solutions, which secures manufacturing and control systems.

There's no way that the Iranians cleaned it up, says Byres. Wiping Stuxnet from one machine is easy, he says, but "on a network, it's a living hell, because it's aggressive and it spreads in so many different ways."

Stuxnet, which was first identified in July, exploits four previously unknown vulnerabilities, spreading via USB memory sticks and network shares. It infects Windows systems used to manage industrial control systems, overwriting embedded controllers to sabotage those systems.

Welcome to the future of network security, where today's most sophisticated and successful attacks will be everyday challenges. Cybercriminals are likely to try to duplicate Stuxnet's ability to persist in a network and hide in embedded devices. And it's inevitable that they'll try to copy techniques used in other attacks--Zeus' skill at manipulating browser sessions and Conficker's resistance to being shut down, for example.

Attackers also are changing how they operate, adopting new ways to develop and disseminate attacks. Cyberespionage operations increasingly leverage social networks to find easy targets. With Operation Aurora, for instance, attackers suspected of being from China used social networks to identify employees at Google and other companies and then sent them targeted e-mails aimed at infecting key computers at those companies.

In addition, software developer communities are supporting sophisticated plug-and-play malware like the Zeus banking Trojan. Dynamically generated domains, à la Conficker, will make it even more difficult to take down botnet command-and-control networks.

How to Choose Multifactor Authentication

Become an InformationWeek Analytics subscriber and get our full report on how to choose multifactor authentication. This 17 page report will help you weigh authentication cost vs. risk for your high-risk apps. What you'll find:
  • It compares various two-factor authentication approaches
  • Assesses different authentication methods' effectiveness
  • Looks at how malware can defeat two-factor authentication
Get This And All Our Reports

1 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
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
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
CMS Made Simple through 2.2.14 allows XSS via a crafted File Picker profile name.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
node-dns-sync (npm module dns-sync) through 0.2.0 allows execution of arbitrary commands . This issue may lead to remote code execution if a client of the library calls the vulnerable method with untrusted input. This has been fixed in 0.2.1.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Certain NETGEAR devices are affected by Missing SSL Certificate Validation. This affects R7000 through, and possibly R6120, R7800, R6220, R8000, R6350, R9000, R6400, RAX120, R6400v2, RBR20, R6800, XR300, R6850, XR500, and R7000P.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
IBM Security Identity Governance and Intelligence 5.2.6 could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information when a detailed technical error message is returned in the browser. This information could be used in further attacks against the system. IBM X-Force ID: 175484.
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
A denial of service vulnerability was reported in the firmware prior to version 1.01 used in Lenovo Printer LJ4010DN that could be triggered by a remote user sending a crafted packet to the device, causing an error to be displayed and preventing printer from functioning until the printer is rebooted...