Why cybersecurity experts can never rest

Hackers readily adapt to evolving security technologies and tactics, report reveals, highlighting the need for constant diligence.

The Web threat landscape is becoming increasingly dynamic and opportunistic as hackers continue to adapt to new online functionality and trends, according to a report on online security from Zscaler, a security firm that specializes in cloud computing.

“While the goals have not changed, the techniques continue to evolve,” wrote Michael Sutton, the company's vice president of security research, in the "State of the Web" report for the second quarter of 2010. “The attacks that we're seeing are increasingly dynamic in nature, continually shifting locations and swapping out payloads to avoid detection.”

Attackers are using social networking functionality, exploiting current events and using techniques such as fast flux to quickly change the Domain Name System resolution for IP addresses, a tactic that allows them to evade blacklists that block malicious sites. The trends are not new, but they illustrate the continued threat posed by increasingly professional criminals with access to a growing kit of malicious tools available in the underground market.


Related coverage:

Everything new is old again: Is e-mail on the way out as the Internet's killer app?

6 reasons to worry about cybersecurity


“Attackers are quickly moving content to different locations in order to ensure that enterprises cannot simply protect themselves by blocking a specific range of IP addresses,” the report concludes. “It is clear that security vendors must be able to quickly adapt and inspect Web-based content on-the-fly in order to identify and secure against emerging threats in this continually evolving environment.”

Legal inroads are being made against organized online crime. The Secret Service announced last week that Vladislav Anatolieviech Horohorin, known online as BadB, had been arrested by French authorities on U.S. federal indictments for access-device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting. According to Secret Service officials, Horohorin was one of the founders of CarderPlanet, which the agency called “one of the most sophisticated organizations of online financial criminals in the world.” The site allegedly is operated by cyber criminal organizations to traffic counterfeit credit cards and false ID information and documents. The site provides a forum for purchasing stolen data and credentials as well as attack tools.

But criminals are resilient and continue to take advantage of current events, such as the recent World Cup tournament and Apple’s release of the iPad, and of new functionality, such as Facebook's “Like” button. Zscaler described Likejacking schemes in which invisible buttons use clicks anywhere on a Web page to drive advertising by raising its Facebook profile.

The increasingly popular Twitter is also a rich target for phishing attacks as malicious third parties solicit Twitter account information with offers to increase the number of the account’s followers.

In addition, criminals are using search engine optimization techniques to drive malicious Web sites to the top of search results on major search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, Zscaler found.

The United States remains by far the top country for malicious IP addresses identified by Zscaler in the second quarter, despite dropping from 62 percent of malicious addresses in April to 48 percent in June. All the other leaders are in the single digits. China and Germany were tied for second place with 7.11 percent each.

However, those figures likely say more about the number of computers and the rate of Internet use in a country than about where attacks originated.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.