Feeds

The IT security vuln league table of fear

Top 20 threats to humanity

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A list of the worst 20 security vulnerabilities bedevilling Windows and *Nix systems was unveiled last Friday by the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute.

The list, now in its fifth year, is designed to help admins to prioritise their efforts so that they can close the most dangerous security holes first. It highlights the top 10 Windows and top 10 Unix issues in their relative order of importance. The roll of infamy is decided by a panel of IT security industry reps, academics, users organisations and the SANS Institute.

Top Vulnerabilities to Windows Systems

  1. Web servers & services
  2. Workstation service
  3. Windows remote access services
  4. Microsoft SQL Server
  5. Windows authentication
  6. Web browsers
  7. File-sharing applications
  8. Window’s Local Security Authority Subsystem Service risks
  9. Mail client
  10. Instant messaging

Top Vulnerabilities in Unix and Linux Systems

  1. BIND Domain Name System
  2. Web server
  3. Authentication
  4. Version control systems
  5. Mail transport service
  6. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
  7. Open Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  8. Misconfiguration of Enterprise Services NIS/NFS
  9. Databases
  10. Kernel

As with previous years the list is fairly general and will generate few surprises among security pros. Despite this the vulnerabilities it recounts are frequently ignored. These ommissions are a key factor in the spread of destructive worms. SANS line is that simple precautions, prompted by raised awareness, can save far greater problems further down the line.

In a statement SANS said: "The vast majority of worms and other successful cyber attacks are made possible by vulnerabilities in a small number of common operating system services. Attackers are opportunistic. They take the easiest and most convenient route and exploit the best-known flaws with the most effective and widely available attack tools. They count on organizations not fixing the problems, and they often attack indiscriminately, scanning the Internet for any vulnerable systems. The easy and destructive spread of worms, such as Blaster, Slammer, and Code Red, can be traced directly to exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities."

"Although there are thousands of security incidents each year affecting these operating systems, the overwhelming majority of successful attacks target one or more of these twenty vulnerable services," it added. ®

Related Stories

FBI names 20 most unwanted security flaws
Sasser creates European pandemonium
Blaster worm spreading rapidly

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.