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.

Perimeter

4/20/2009
03:28 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
50%
50%

The Human Element Behind Malware-Related Breaches

Last year, the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report made a big splash with insightful statistics on actual data breach investigations performed by the company's incident response team. Last week, the team released an updated version (PDF) for 2009 that includes more data, as well as an interesting look at what happened during the past year. What's grabbing my attention? The numbers related to malwa

Last year, the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report made a big splash with insightful statistics on actual data breach investigations performed by the company's incident response team. Last week, the team released an updated version (PDF) for 2009 that includes more data, as well as an interesting look at what happened during the past year. What's grabbing my attention? The numbers related to malware.For example, last year nine out of 10 recorded breaches (of a total 285 million) were due to malware deposited onto a system by a remote attacker. The most prevalent function in the deposited malware was some sort of keylogger or spyware to capture authentication credentials. I'm only slightly comforted that it was an attacker behind the malware install and not duped users.

Users aren't totally without blame, though. The Verizon report says seven infections came from Websites -- three directly downloaded and installed by the users. The other four cases involved a vulnerability that had a patch available for more than a year.

So looking at those numbers, who is the culprit? Who gets fingered? Who must shoulder the blame? Malware certainly played a critical role in the breaches, but don't discount the human element, with an attacker installing the malware once a system was compromised. Or perhaps a user browsed to a malicious Website and clicked "Yes" on a deceptive Web pop-up.

Without knowing the details behind the numbers, it's still safe to point out that a person was involved in every breach, either as the perpetrator or, in a handful of cases, the victim.

Be prepared: You'll probably hear a lot of salespeople spouting off numbers from the Verizon report as the reason why you need their producst. Instead of sitting there nodding, take the time to read the report so you can understand the context of the numbers and respond appropriately.

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16632
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
A XSS Vulnerability in /uploads/dede/action_search.php in DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 allows an authenticated user to execute remote arbitrary code via the keyword parameter.
CVE-2021-32073
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 contains a CSRF vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to send a malicious request to to the web manager allowing remote code execution.
CVE-2021-33033
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The Linux kernel before 5.11.14 has a use-after-free in cipso_v4_genopt in net/ipv4/cipso_ipv4.c because the CIPSO and CALIPSO refcounting for the DOI definitions is mishandled, aka CID-ad5d07f4a9cd. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2021-33034
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
In the Linux kernel before 5.12.4, net/bluetooth/hci_event.c has a use-after-free when destroying an hci_chan, aka CID-5c4c8c954409. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2019-25044
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The block subsystem in the Linux kernel before 5.2 has a use-after-free that can lead to arbitrary code execution in the kernel context and privilege escalation, aka CID-c3e2219216c9. This is related to blk_mq_free_rqs and blk_cleanup_queue.