Feeds

Malicious code threats celebrate bumper 2003

Privacy under backdoors and blended assault

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Malicious code threats to privacy and confidentiality increased rapidly in the final six months of last year - up 148 per cent on the first half of 2003.

Virus writers increasingly targeted backdoors left by other attackers and worms in their attempts to spread malicious code, according to the latest edition of Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report. Blended threats - like Blaster, Welchia and SoBig-F - make up 54 per cent of Symantec’s top ten risks for 2H2003. More recently, the Doomjuice and Deadhat blended threats both exploited the backdoor left by MyDoom in January this year.

Older threats compromised confidentiality by exporting random documents. More recent viruses and blended threats also extract passwords, decryption keys and logged keystrokes.

Symantec chronicled 2,636 new vulnerabilities during 2003 - an average of seven new flaws a day – 70 per cent of which it categorises as easily exploitable. The number of vulnerabilities logged in 2003 is up just two per cent from 2002 compared to a leap of 81 per cent between 2001 and 2002.

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (published today) reveals that almost one third of all attacking systems targeted the vulnerability exploited by Blaster and its successors. Older worms also continue to spread thanks to the continued availability of unpatched systems needed to sustain them.

"Attackers require no specialised knowledge to gain unauthorised access to a network when vulnerabilities are easy to exploit," said Symantec's Technical Services Director, Richard Archdeacon.

"And, as the time between disclosure and exploitation of vulnerabilities continues to shrink, zero-day threats that target vulnerabilities before they are known, are expected. Patch management continues to be critical, but companies are struggling to manage it themselves." ®

Related stories

Blaster beats up British business
War of the worms turns into war of words
Cyber attacks down, but vulns soar
Worms spread faster, blended threats grow

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.