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Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/26/2017
08:00 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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8 Most Overlooked Security Threats

Businesses know the obvious security threats to watch for, but some of the biggest dangers may not at top-of-mind.
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Malvertising
Malvertising has fallen off the radar over the last year or so, says Jerome Segura, lead malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes. It still remains a threat, but for a new pool of targets.
Attackers previously targeted high-profile media sites with malware but learned those attacks generated a lot of attention, he explains. Now they've begun turning to smaller brand names with a lot of traffic but less visibility: foreign websites and file-sharing sites, for example.
'Those typically also don't care as much about visitors as a more high-profile website would,' Segura continues; as a result, malvertising often gets overlooked. 'How much do you care about making sure ads are clean and appropriate?'
Attackers primarily rely on malicious ads to generate revenue, but it's also used to collect identities or install malware that can be used to add a machine to a botnet in the future. Contractors are more likely to overlook malvertising compared with full-time employees who manage websites.
'A team that's not full time on the project won't be as familiar from start to finish,' says Logan Kipp, WordPress evangelist at SiteLock. 'They often overlook [malicious ads] because the look like they belong,' and unless they know to look at the source code, it won't seem suspicious.
Full-timers who maintain the app every day are more likely to notice if something is amiss. Businesses can mitigate the risk of malvertising by patching systems and using ad blockers.
(Image: David Carillet via Shutterstock)

Malvertising

Malvertising has fallen off the radar over the last year or so, says Jerome Segura, lead malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes. It still remains a threat, but for a new pool of targets.

Attackers previously targeted high-profile media sites with malware but learned those attacks generated a lot of attention, he explains. Now they've begun turning to smaller brand names with a lot of traffic but less visibility: foreign websites and file-sharing sites, for example.

"Those typically also don't care as much about visitors as a more high-profile website would," Segura continues; as a result, malvertising often gets overlooked. "How much do you care about making sure ads are clean and appropriate?"

Attackers primarily rely on malicious ads to generate revenue, but it's also used to collect identities or install malware that can be used to add a machine to a botnet in the future. Contractors are more likely to overlook malvertising compared with full-time employees who manage websites.

"A team that's not full time on the project won't be as familiar from start to finish," says Logan Kipp, WordPress evangelist at SiteLock. "They often overlook [malicious ads] because the look like they belong," and unless they know to look at the source code, it won't seem suspicious.

Full-timers who maintain the app every day are more likely to notice if something is amiss. Businesses can mitigate the risk of malvertising by patching systems and using ad blockers.

(Image: David Carillet via Shutterstock)

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Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 12:23:02 PM
Undereducated employees
 

This is more critical one I would say.
Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 12:22:37 PM
Re: Awareness training
"when hackers are focusing on people more than ever"

Agree. It becomes more human hacking than machine.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 12:21:17 PM
Re: Malvertising
"Yet another reason to disable/block Flash, Java, and HTML5 on all but the most trusted of sites."

HTML5? Then no sites could run on any browsers, correct?
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 12:19:39 PM
Re: 8 Most Overlooked Security Threats
How would they fare with z/OS, Linux and Unix??

I say the same way, it is not about OS, there is always vulnerabilities in all OSes.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 12:17:53 PM
Re: 8 Most Overlooked Security Threats
"The reent Wanna Cry attcaks immobilised large parts of Britain's NHS and it is apparent they did not have a DR plan rto revocover"

Agree. That is becoming major issue, if there is nothing to fall back it is downtime obviously. 
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2017 | 11:54:32 AM
Evil maid
This is most likely a common one that we are not that much aware of.
LindsayCybSafe
50%
50%
LindsayCybSafe,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2017 | 6:57:40 AM
Awareness training
Interesting how many of the overlooked security threats come down to No. 8 - employee awareness. Mobilisation, IoT, in-memory phishing attacks push the ball into the court of employees and their devices...a disproportionate focus technology is happening, when hackers are focusing on people more than ever.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2017 | 9:06:24 PM
Malvertising
Worth noting that malvertising has also been used to deliver malware.

Yet another reason to disable/block Flash, Java, and HTML5 on all but the most trusted of sites.
tcritchley07
100%
0%
tcritchley07,
User Rank: Moderator
5/26/2017 | 5:58:54 PM
8 Most Overlooked Security Threats
Interestng article but there is a 90 degree view of this which is disaster recovery when the attack actually works.

The reent Wanna Cry attcaks immobilised large parts of Britain's NHS and it is apparent they did not have a DR plan rto revocover. Moving on, and thinking laterally, there is a case for scrapping the use of Windows in many cases as the bad guys are obviously very proficient in this area. How would they fare with z/OS, Linux and Unix??

Just a few thoughts out of the box.
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