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

5/12/2011
07:42 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft: Cybercrime Falling Into Two Distinct Camps

New Microsoft Security Intelligence Report outlines 'marketing campaign' strategies being employed by one group, and related rise in phishing and rogue antivirus software.

There are sophisticated cybercrime groups who target organizations or individuals using social engineering or rare exploits, and then there are those cybercriminals who use more widely available attack techniques aimed at a wider audience of victims. Those two approaches are the two main ways cybercrime has shaken out, according to a new report released today by Microsoft.

And unlike the cybercriminals who wage targeted attacks either for espionage, extortion, or big-ticket theft, the broad-brush attacks are all about pilfering a little money here and there from a lot of victims. These attacks are increasingly being run like marketing campaigns, according to Microsoft's new Security Intelligence Report (SIR), Volume 10, which encompasses July 2010 through December 2010.

"We're seeing a polarization of criminal behavior: There's the highly sophisticated, skilled [criminals] who create exploits and go after high-value targets using zero-day attacks, special intelligence, and customized social engineering," says Jerry Bryant, group manager of response communications for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group. "The other [group] uses more accessible attack methods, using maybe the skilled ones' [malware], and social engineering methods for a larger number of people. We're seeing these attacks run more like marketing campaigns, and especially during significant events that attract media attention, such as the disaster in Japan."

Data gathered by Microsoft from more than 600 million Windows machines worldwide for the report shows how that strategy is playing out: Rogue security software was found and blocked on nearly 19 million Windows machines last year, and the top five families of this malware accounted for 13 million of those instances. FakeSpypro was the most common rogue AV in each quarter of 2010, and FakePAV -- which poses as Microsoft Security Essentials -- was the next most commonly spread fake AV in the second half of the year. "We cleaned it out over 730,000 systems," Bryant says.

And phishing attacks using social networking lures jumped a whopping 1,200 percent, from 8.3 percent of phishing in January to 84.5 percent of phishing in December. Online gaming sites are also in the phishing pool, accounting for 16.7 percent of all phishing in June, according to the report.

And pesky adware is back: Two new adware variants, Win32/ClickPotato and JS/Pornpop, came on the scene last year, sending adware up by 70 percent between the second and fourth quarters. ClickPotato pushes ads based on a user's browsing habits, while PornPop pushes adult content, Microsoft's Bryant says. "They both install without your direct permission," he says. "They try to be persistent and avoid removal, but they're not usually doing anything malicious."



Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
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-2021-22953
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-23
A CSRF in Concrete CMS version 8.5.5 and below allows an attacker to clone topics which can lead to UI inconvenience, and exhaustion of disk space.Credit for discovery: "Solar Security Research Team"
CVE-2021-22016
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-23
The vCenter Server contains a reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability due to a lack of input sanitization. An attacker may exploit this issue to execute malicious scripts by tricking a victim into clicking a malicious link.
CVE-2021-22017
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-23
Rhttproxy as used in vCenter Server contains a vulnerability due to improper implementation of URI normalization. A malicious actor with network access to port 443 on vCenter Server may exploit this issue to bypass proxy leading to internal endpoints being accessed.
CVE-2021-22018
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-23
The vCenter Server contains an arbitrary file deletion vulnerability in a VMware vSphere Life-cycle Manager plug-in. A malicious actor with network access to port 9087 on vCenter Server may exploit this issue to delete non critical files.
CVE-2021-22019
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-23
The vCenter Server contains a denial-of-service vulnerability in VAPI (vCenter API) service. A malicious actor with network access to port 5480 on vCenter Server may exploit this issue by sending a specially crafted jsonrpc message to create a denial of service condition.