Feeds

Beloved websites riddled with crimeware

Web 2.0 malware mash-up madness

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Sixty of the 100 most popular websites either hosted malicious content or linked to malicious websites at some point during the first six months of 2008, according to a new study by web security firm Websense.

Many of these sites include search engine and social networking sites that are becoming a popular target for attackers thanks to their huge user bases allied to inadequate security controls. Open redirects that allow hackers to bounce surfers off well-known sites onto dodgy domains are a big part of this problem, according to Carl Leonard, security research manager EMEA at Websense. SQL injection attacks are also a major cause of grief, he added.

Websense recorded a market increase in drive-by download attacks that involve hackers loading malicious scripts, using tactics such as SQL injection attacks, onto otherwise reputable websites. More than 75 per cent of the Web sites Websense classified as malicious during the 1H 2008 were legitimate websites that had become the victim of cybercrooks. In the past, the majority of malware would crop up on warez and smut sites.

Overall 29 percent of malicious Web attacks included data-stealing code, demonstrating that information pilfering rather than simple mischief is becoming a more and more significant driver of malware creation.

Brazilian and Chinese hackers get all the blame but the majority of spyware sends its information back to systems based in the US.

Around half (46 per cent) of the malware attacks monitored by Websense in the first half of 2008 send data back over the web with connections made to systems in the US in 57.3 per cent of these cases. By comparison, just 6 per cent of spyware phones home to China, only 4.3 per cent pings Russia and a similar 4 per cent hooks up with cybercrooks in Brazil.

Websense's Leonard cautioned that its findings don't necessarily mean malware-spreading cybercrooks are mostly based in the US. "It could be the attacker is located in a different country. cybercrime is international," he said.

In other findings, Websense recorded a marked drop in malicious code created using exploitation kits over recent months. It reckons VXers are using customised attacks more often in an attempt to bypass signature detection tools that are likely to block the product of rudimentary malware creation toolkits.

A summary of Websense's latest research can be found here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
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
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.