Feeds

Cybercrooks get faster, further and sneakier

Browser plug-ins flaws help hackers build botnets

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Cybercrooks are becoming faster at utilising newly-discovered browser exploits. More than nine in ten of all browser-related exploits occurred within 24 hours of an official vulnerability disclosure, according to a survey by IBM's X-Force security division.

The cyber-threat survey, which looked closely at information security events that happened during the first half of 2008, also revealed that attacks targeting flaws in browser plug-ins are increasing in prevalence. In the first half of 2008, around 78 percent of web browser exploits targeted browser plug-in bugs.

X-Force operations manager Kris Lamb said that the "acceleration and proliferation" of bugs were key themes for the first half of 2008.

The IBM division reckons the increasing use of automated tools allows hackers to become faster off the mark in exploiting vulnerabilities. It criticised the practice of releasing "exploit code along with a security advisory" as playing into the hands of hackers. According to the study, vulnerabilities disclosed by researchers are twice as likely to have zero-day exploit code published.

The counter-argument to this, of course, is that security researchers publish proof of exploit code to establish that their concerns are valid. Publishing details about flaws encourages vendors to be more proactive about developing patches, benefitting the internet community as a whole over the long run.

More than half of the vulnerabilities tracked by X-Force in 1H 2008 involved web server applications. SQL injection vulnerabilities jumped from 25 per cent in 2007 to 41 per cent of all web server application flaws in the first half of 2008. Such vulnerabilities are often used by hackers to plant malicious code of vulnerable websites, a key component in so-called drive-by download attacks which are displacing poisoned email attachments as the preferred method to serve up malware.

In other developments, spammers have abandoned the use of image-based spam, file attachment spam and other such frippery by going back to basics. Nine in ten spam messages now contain little more beyond a few simple words and a URL. The report adds that Russia continues to be the biggest single originator of spam (the starting point of 11 per cent of the world’s junk). Turkey (eight per cent) and the US (7.1 per cent) also crop up as a frequent source of junk mail traffic.®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
Got an iPhone or iPad? LOOK OUT for MASQUE-D INTRUDERS
UNjailbroken iOS 7, 8 open to evil, says secbiz FireEye
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.