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Security Week In Review, March 19-23

2014-08-10 19:55

While slower than other weeks, March 19-23 was defined by a few major threats and some eye-opening reports. Here is a look at this week's security front.

WordPress Domains Compromised: An untold number of WordPress domains have been compromised in a series of assaults appearing to spread the Cridex botnet, discovered by researchers at M86 and Trend Micro. The perpetrators behind the malware launched their attack by injecting malicious code on vulnerable WordPress sites and luring in victims with spammed email messages that purport to be from legitimate domains such as the FDIC, LinkedIn and the Better Business Bureau, among others. As typical of these kinds of attacks, the bogus emails entice users to click on the malicious links or attachments with myriad socially engineered messages. Once opened, the links redirect users to infected WordPress sites, where malicious code is downloaded onto their machines that exploit several known Adobe and Windows vulnerabilities. The attack, delivered using the Blackhole malware kit, further distributes the Cridex Trojan and incorporates affected machines into the botnet. Thus far, at least 200,000 domains have been compromised.

Researchers Dig Deeper On Doqu (say that five times fast): Researchers at Symantec and Kaspersky wrestled with a variant of the W32.Duqu Trojan, appearing to come from Iran. Like its predecessor Stuxnet, the destructive Duqu worm creates a backdoor on infected SCADA industrial control systems and could possibly be sourced to the the same authors. Kaspersky Lab researchers struggled to identify the programming language, which was thought to be an object oriented language, but one without references to C++ or any other high level scripting language such as Objective C, Java or Python. On Monday, Kaspersky Lab researchers announced that the mystery code in the Duqu Trojan was indeed written in the C programming language and compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. However, Kaspersky Lab researchers found that Duqu's “mystery code” used to communicate with its command-and-control (C&C) servers from infected machines was a customized version of C, a variant sometimes referred to as OO C.

Hactivism Surpasses Cybercrime For Data Loss, Report: Hactivism surpassed plain old-fashioned for-profit cyber crime as the biggest cause of data loss, according to a Verizon report Data Breach Investigations. Altogether, around 58 percent of data loss in 2011 can be attributed to some kind of hacktivism, the report found—sprearheaded largely by notorious global hacktivist groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec, which have wreaked havoc on a wide array of governments, corporations and organizations. The report found that 96 percent of all the attacks carried out were not difficult and exploited easily detectable vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, 97 percent of the attacks could have easily been avoided with simple security mechanisms and 96 percent of victims subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard were not in compliance at the time of attack. The vast majority of attacks—69 percent—were carried out using malware. The amount of data loss due to hacktivism represents a stark contrast to previous years, in which the majority of data loss was directly attributed to profit-minded cyber attacks.

Cost of A Data Breach Goes....Down?: A report released in tandem between the Ponemon Institute and Symantec this week found that the cost of a data breach for organizations actually went down in 2011, thanks in part to organizations that employ their own CISOs. According to the report, titled “2011 Cost of a Data Breach,” organizations suffering in the wake of a data breach incurred average costs of $5.5 million, compared with $7.2 million in 2010. The cost per compromised record also took a tumble from $214 in 2010 to $194 in 2011. In addition, the number of malicious attacks appeared to be on the decline, the study found. And one of the biggest findings was that organizations employing CISOs saved on average around $80 per compromised record. However, the study did not incorporate massive breaches with with more than 100,000 compromised records, (e.g. Sony PlayStation), which would have significantly altered the overall results.

Source: 32-91-hcram-weiver-ni-keew-ytiruces/tsop/moc.tenitrof.golb

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