Threat Intelligence

9/18/2018
02:55 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Websites Attack Attempts Rose in Q2

New data shows hackers hit websites, on average, every 25 minutes.

New data shows attackers are trying to sneak past malware scanners on websites using stealthy hacks such as cryptojacking and malicious JavaScript.

Website security service provider SiteLock analyzed data from 6 million customer websites for the second quarter of 2018 and found that a website, on average, suffers 58 attack attempts per day – or one every 25 minutes – an increase of 16% since the first quarter of this year. That jump comes after a dip in attack attempts from the fourth quarter of 2017 (63 attempts each day) to Q1 of this year (50 per day).

Why the temporary dip? "Malware detection tools are getting better," says Jessica Ortega, a researcher with SiteLock. "Attackers had to step back and hone their skills a bit to find new and sneakier ways to get into websites."

The latest methods of choice are cryptojacking and JavaScript-based attacks, the data shows. Cryptojacking attacks doubled from Q1, while malicious JavaScript files rose 16%. The two go hand in hand, as well, SiteLock said in its report. "This new trend is not surprising because many cryptojacking scripts use JavaScript kits to deploy and collect the mined cryptocurrency. Because cryptojacking and JavaScript are often symptomless to the website owner, they are becoming a new favorite weapon of cybercriminals," the report said.

The two attacks are also leading the way so far in Q3, according to SiteLock's Ortega. "They're going to continue to grow," she says.

But that doesn't mean old-school website attack methods are fading away. "The old standbys – SEO and backdoor files – are not going anywhere. Nearly half of infected sites have one backdoor file on them," she says. "That's easy to deploy."

Some 1% of websites in Q2 were infected with malware, with the average infection requiring cleanup of 178 files – a decline of 28% from Q1 and 91% from Q2 2017.

According to SiteLock, 9% of websites had at least one vulnerability of either cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), or SQL injection. That was a 3% increase over Q1. "Those represent the three most common vulns. It's totally possible that the sites have other types of vulns" as well, Ortega notes.

Social Malware
Websites that connect to one social media platform are two times more likely to be infected with malware, according to the study, and sites connected to three or more platforms are three times more likely to get infected.

"We know a lot of sites use plug-ins to connect to social media," Ortega says, and that often leaves websites vulnerable to social media-borne attacks and data stealing. SiteLock recommends performing due diligence before installing any social media or other plug-ins, confirming that they provide regular security updates and patches and study reviews of the apps.

And gone are the days when small website owners can rely on search engine providers alone to alert them and visitors of an infection on their sites. "Of 19.2 million infected sites, only 3 million got flagged by search engines," she says.

SiteLock recommends updating Web apps regularly, and deploying malware scanning and Web application firewalls.

Related Content:

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How the US Chooses Which Zero-Day Vulnerabilities to Stockpile
Ricardo Arroyo, Senior Technical Product Manager, Watchguard Technologies,  1/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security 2018
This Dark Reading Tech Digest explores the biggest news stories of 2018 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6497
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-20
Hotels_Server through 2018-11-05 has SQL Injection via the controller/fetchpwd.php username parameter.
CVE-2018-18908
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-20
The Sky Go Desktop application 1.0.19-1 through 1.0.23-1 for Windows performs several requests over cleartext HTTP. This makes the data submitted in these requests prone to Man in The Middle (MiTM) attacks, whereby an attacker would be able to obtain the data sent in these requests. Some of the requ...
CVE-2019-6496
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-20
The ThreadX-based firmware on Marvell Avastar Wi-Fi devices allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (block pool overflow) via malformed Wi-Fi packets during identification of available Wi-Fi networks. Exploitation of the Wi-Fi device can lead to exploitation of...
CVE-2019-3773
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-18
Spring Web Services, versions 2.4.3, 3.0.4, and older unsupported versions of all three projects, were susceptible to XML External Entity Injection (XXE) when receiving XML data from untrusted sources.
CVE-2019-3774
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-18
Spring Batch versions 3.0.9, 4.0.1, 4.1.0, and older unsupported versions, were susceptible to XML External Entity Injection (XXE) when receiving XML data from untrusted sources.