Feeds

Black hat greed reducing software vulnerability report rate

Zero-day market temptation: Cash out or collaborate?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

RSA 2013 HP has kicked off the round of reports that accompany each RSA conference with its analysis of security vulnerabilities, and has revealed that although the overall trend is positive, the growing market for zero-day flaws is reducing the number of the most serious problems that are disclosed.

software vulnerabilities

The long-term trend looks pretty good, but...

The number of software vulnerabilities has continued its overall downward trend from its 2006 peak, but while the numbers of the most critical threats hasn't fallen much, HP researchers have seen a reduction in the number of serious vulnerabilities that are actually reported. HP attributes that slippage to the growing market for vulnerability data.

"We think a lot of these vulnerabilities are being sold in the black market or the grey one," Mark Painter, marketing manager for Fortify HP enterprise security, told The Register.

"The growth of the grey market and the worth of vulnerabilities in dollars must have a reducing effect on the number of public disclosures that we see," Painter told us. "Those dollars are there, and anything that goes down [the grey channel] doesn't become public."

Four of the six most common vulnerabilities are aimed primarily or solely at web applications: SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and remote file inclusion. Together these account for 4 per cent of the total.

On the mobile front, the HP team tested a very small sample of 70 apps and found a host of problems. Over 37 per cent of applications had passwords that could be beaten using basic methods (such as Apple's latest passcode-bypass woes), and 77 per cent had information-leakage flaws.

There was a relatively low rate for XSS vulnerabilities in mobile, with an unlucky 13 per cent of mobile apps at risk, but the data showed a worrying preponderance of financial and database management apps in the sample.

Elsewhere, HP reported a huge increase in the number of SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) vulnerabilities detected, the numbers of which have risen 68 per cent over the last five years. This likely reflects that people are more actively looking for such things post-Stuxnet, rather than any inherent instability in SCADA code. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.