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

12/30/2007
11:37 AM
50%
50%

Hackers Take the Holidays

Christmas, New Year's, or St. Swithin's Day, attackers always seem to be in a holiday mood

9:37 AM -- Hackers love holidays.

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's Christmas, Valentine's Day, or Halloween -- if there's a chance to fool users into opening a holiday message and clicking on a link, you can bet an attacker will be there to take advantage of it.

While others were opening gifts or enjoying family feasts over the past week, the architects of the Storm botnet have been busily sending out spam, seeking out gullible users who were in a holiday spirit. The first messages featured scantily clad "Santa strippers"; the next round offered New Year's greetings. (See Storm Darkens Christmas, Takes Aim at New Year's.)

Remember that brief period when e-cards were fun? Now users don't dare open them, no matter how legitimate they might seem to be. This month, some malware authors even included the phrases "no worm, no virus" in their spurious e-card text. (See Watch for Holiday E-Card Spam, Symantec Says.)

And it isn't just the botnet operators and malware writers that are using this approach -- spammers love it, too. Barely a month ago, the industry saw a widespread, pump-and-dump stock spam scam as many as 300,000 messages an hour across email systems worldwide. (See Spam for the Holidays.)

Identity thieves? Heck yeah, they love holidays. Holidays bring users to online shopping sites, and online shoppers have plenty of credit cards and other personal data to steal. Prior to this year's shopping season, experts were predicting record fraud for 2007. (See Cybercriminals Ready for Banner Holiday Shopping Season.)

Oh, and if you don't have enough holiday threats from external attackers, take a look at your employees -- many of them have just received laptops, PDAs, portable storage devices, or other digital gadgets, and they can't wait to get back to work so they can plug them into their machines at the office. (See The Gifts That Keep on Giving.)

Yep, hackers love holidays. They love the fact that holiday-spirited users are more likely to open up those unknown emails. They love the fact that more inexperienced users are drawn to shop online. And they love the fact that most IT security departments are working with skeleton crews, covering for staffers who are on vacation.

If you're a security pro, then, it's a good idea to take a cup of caution with your eggnog or champagne. Celebrate with your friends -- but make sure you're not giving access to those who aren't so friendly.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
News
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/28/2021
Slideshows
7 Modern-Day Cybersecurity Realities
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  4/30/2021
Commentary
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks
Bert Kashyap, CEO and Co-Founder at SecureW2,  4/28/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
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-2021-27941
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
Unconstrained Web access to the device's private encryption key in the QR code pairing mode in the eWeLink mobile application (through 4.9.2 on Android and through 4.9.1 on iOS) allows a physically proximate attacker to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi credentials and other sensitive information by monitoring the...
CVE-2021-29203
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
A security vulnerability has been identified in the HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Manager, also known as HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Management Software, prior to version 1.22. The vulnerability could be remotely exploited to bypass remote authentication leading to execution of arbitrary commands, gai...
CVE-2021-31737
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
emlog v5.3.1 and emlog v6.0.0 have a Remote Code Execution vulnerability due to upload of database backup file in admin/data.php.
CVE-2020-28198
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** The 'id' parameter of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Version 5 Release 2 (Command Line Administrative Interface, dsmadmc.exe) is vulnerable to an exploitable stack buffer overflow. Note: the vulnerability can be exploited when it is used in "interactive" mode wh...
CVE-2021-28665
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
Stormshield SNS with versions before 3.7.18, 3.11.6 and 4.1.6 has a memory-management defect in the SNMP plugin that can lead to excessive consumption of memory and CPU resources, and possibly a denial of service.