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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

12/21/2012
12:53 PM
Don Bailey
Don Bailey
Products and Releases
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

ESET: Mobile Malware, Botnets, Attacks On The Cloud And Data Breaches Expected To Grow

Company also believes mobile malware will become more complex

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ESET, the global leader in proactive digital protection with a 25 year track record of developing award-winning technology, has published its annual review of the past year's threat trends and compiled predictions for 2013. According to the new report, the 2013 threatscape will see major growth of mobile malware and its variants, increased malware propagation via websites and the continued rise of botnets and attacks on the cloud resulting in information leaks.

Over the past year, there has been a major increase in mobile malware. Devices running on the Android(TM) platform have drawn increased attention from malicious programmers who have taken an immediate interest in targeting this dynamic and growing market. According to market research firm IDC, during the first quarter of 2012, Google recorded year-over-year growth of 145% in shipments of its Android operating system for smartphones.*

Based on the combination of increased market share, evolving usage patterns, and the current high level of malicious programs targeting mobile devices, ESET predicts an exponential growth of mobile malware in 2013. The company also believes that the malware will become more complex, thus expanding the range of malicious actions that can be performed on an infected device.

The number of malware families targeting the Android platform (malicious codes that are different enough to have a unique classification) increased from 52 families in November of 2011 to 56 families today. Although this figure did not rise dramatically during 2012, it shows that the number of signatures and variants continues to grow. Regardless of the number of malware families, ESET expects the number of threats aimed at the Android platform to continue to grow, in much the same way as it has with Windows® operating system. ESET classifies the behaviors of the families and malicious actions (payload) carried out by malware on Android-based devices as follows: information theft (spyware), SMS message distribution to premium-rate numbers, and the transformation of machines into zombies (botnet recruitment).

The majority of these malware families are intended to subscribe the victim to premium-rate messaging numbers. However, there are more serious threats that can transform these devices into zombies. This happens when cybercriminals gain access to the devices to remotely install other malicious code, steal particularly desirable data, and modify configuration parameters.

The number of malware variants for the Android platform also increased in 2012.

A variant is a modified version of a specific and known malicious program. It is important to note that for each new major variant that emerges, the ESET research team adds an alphabetically ordered suffix that changes as the quantity increases.

In 2013, ESET also expects to see a shift in the ways in which cybercriminals propagate malicious code. Malware propagation by means of removable storage devices is decreasing in favor of the use of an intermediary in order to attract new victims. Currently, the preferred intermediary is a web server that has been compromised by a third party in order to host computer threats. Cybercriminals will send out hyperlinks via email to lead the user to the malware in question.

These same compromised servers store the stolen information in order to avoid involving personal computers, which may be better protected and where detection and cleaning of malware may result in the criminals losing their stolen data.

Since 2010, cybercriminals using malware designed to steal information and generate revenue have become more prevalent and their attacks more aggressive.

During 2011, there was a marked increase in the number of botnets, and this year the numbers have continued a steady increase globally. There is no doubt that the Dorkbot worm is one of the most prolific threats, capable of turning the victim's computer into a zombie.

Storage in the cloud is another trend that grew in 2012. According to a June press release, in 2012, Gartner believes that the adoption of camera-equipped tablets and smartphones will drive consumer storage needs.** Although this technology makes it easier for people to access information from practically any device with Internet access, it also makes such devices more susceptible to being targeted by computer attacks, which can compromise data security and cause information leaks.

This year there were a number of major cyber attacks, including the cloud-based storage service Dropbox(TM) where hackers accessed some accounts using stolen login credentials. While this was not a failure of the Dropbox(TM) service itself, the incident prompted the company to improve its security. Other companies that were reported to be be affected by information leakage incidents during 2012 included LinkedIn(TM), Yahoo!(TM) and Formspring(TM). Mainstream credit card companies like Visa® and MasterCard® also had to issue warnings when a payment processing system suffered information leakage. This incident affected a total of 56,455 accounts from both companies, out of which 876 were used to commit some kind of fraud.

For more information, download the full report prepared by the ESET research team at Trends for 2013: Astounding growth of mobile malware.

About ESET

ESET is on the forefront of security innovation, delivering trusted protection to make the Internet safer for businesses and consumers. IDC has recognized ESET as a top five corporate anti-malware vendor and one of the fastest growing companies in its category. Trusted by millions of users worldwide, ESET is one of the most recommended security solutions in the world. ESET NOD32 Antivirus consistently achieves the highest accolades in all types of comparative testing, and powers the virus and spyware detection in ESET Smart Security, ESET Cybersecurity for Mac, ESET Endpoint Security and ESET Endpoint Antivirus. ESET has global headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia), with regional distribution centers in San Diego (U.S.), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Singapore; with offices in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Prague (Czech Republic). ESET has malware research centers in Bratislava, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Prague, Kosice (Slovakia), Krakow (Poland), Montreal (Canada), Moscow (Russia), and an extensive partner network for 180 countries. For more information, visit http://www.eset.com/us or call +1 (619) 876-5400. Don A. Bailey is a pioneer in security for mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and embedded systems. He has a long history of ground-breaking research, protecting mobile users from worldwide tracking systems, securing automobiles from remote attack, and mitigating ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19037
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
ext4_empty_dir in fs/ext4/namei.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because ext4_read_dirblock(inode,0,DIRENT_HTREE) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19036
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
btrfs_root_node in fs/btrfs/ctree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because rcu_dereference(root->node) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19039
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
__btrfs_free_extent in fs/btrfs/extent-tree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 calls btrfs_print_leaf in a certain ENOENT case, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information about register values via the dmesg program.
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.