Feeds

The IT security vuln league table of fear

Top 20 threats to humanity

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.