Feeds

Another NT crack (yawn)

Cracker raise their sights

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The battleground between security vendors and crackers is shifting as attacks are becoming more likely to come in at the application rather than infrastructure level, according to a security firm which keeps close tabs on the digital underground.

According to Kenneth De Spiegeleire, consulting manager at Internet security Systems (ISS) who heads a teams of ethical hackers, crackers get more kudos if they sniff out Web server or ecommerce applications than when they exploit operating system flaws.

"'Black Hat' hackers have almost lost interest in Windows NT exploits because they're becoming so common. If someone finds a flaw with a serious ecommerce application they'll get much more attention," he said.

This means that protecting bespoke ecommerce applications and guarding against the dozens of exploits that use peer to peer networks, such as Napster, are becoming more important security concerns, he added.

Despite all the publicity about Web page defacement, De Spiegeleire said his firm's clients were far more concerned about a security compromise that they don't detect rather than such "door rattling" by script kiddies.

ISS, whose main business is in security assessment and intrusion detection products, believes that 60-70 per cent of those in the digital underground are unable to do anything more than follow simple scripts or instructions, and are thus labelled script kiddies. One in five could be described as "security professional wannabes" with more knowledge.

Only one in ten members of the digital underground is capable of finding and writing an exploit that takes advantage of a security vulnerability. Around one per cent of the entire community are classed as "super crackers", state or company paid criminals who works in the shadows, and whose work seldom comes to the attention of the wider world.

To illustrate his point that "innovation" is slow to comes from crackers, De Spiegeleire, said AT&T researchers highlighted inherent security weaknesses in the design of TCP in 1989 but these flaws in authentication were only first exploited six years later, by Kevin Mitnick, in 1995.

"A lot of hackers overstate themselves, there's few who know a system inside out and therefore where the weak spots are," said De Spiegeleire. ®

Related stories:
Hacker fighting club launched by IT bigwigs
ISS has ANSA to network security
SubSeven variant rears its ugly head
S'kiddies munch Burger King
Intel hacker talks to The Reg
Gnutella users warned of Internet worm
Activists target bank's Web site in animal rights protest

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.