Feeds

Patch often: Cyber-crim toolkits love stinky old gaping holes

Updating software is better than relying on AV - shock finding

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More than two in three exploits kits that attempt to inject malware into web surfers' computers were developed in Russia - and at least one in two exploit rather old vulnerabilities.

Blackhole 2.0 is the most often used hacking toolkit - installed on websites to attack and take over visitors' computers - but it targets fewer software security holes than rival cybercrime kits. That's according to a fresh report by managed security biz Solutionary.

Contrary to hype that exploit kits target unpatched flaws in products, Solutionary found the majority (58 per cent) of exploited vulnerabilities were more than two years old.

The company reviewed 26 commonly used kits and discovered code abusing security bugs dating as far back as 2004, evidence that old vulnerabilities continue to be mined for profit for cybercrooks. Criminal hackers typically compromise otherwise legitimate websites to plant hacking toolkits and distribute fake antivirus software, banking Trojans and other nasties.

Researchers at the security firm concluded that antivirus products cannot detect 67 per cent of malware being distributed, a finding that is likely to be controversial. The practical upshot is that surfers would be wise to regularly update applications - especially Adobe Flash, web browsers and the Java runtime - rather than rely on security scanners to block any attacks that come their way.

"Exploit kits largely focus on targeting end-user applications,” said Rob Kraus, a director of security research at Solutionary. “As a result, it is vital that organisations pay close attention to patch management and endpoint security controls in order to significantly decrease the likelihood of compromise."

A complete copy of Solutionary's Q4 2012 threat report can be found here (registration required). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.