Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: VictorOps Blog, Tim Hinds, Mike Kavis, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman

News Feed Item

F-Secure Deems 2012 the Year of the Exploit Kit

Strong Passwords Are Important but, as Detailed in F-Secure's Latest Threat Report, a Commoditized and Professional Malware Industry Brings Its Own Challenges

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/05/13 -- Business is booming for exploits, mobile malware is still dominated by Android and Symbian, and botnets are back and retooled, according to the new Threat Report H2 2012 from F-Secure Labs. Released in conjunction with Safer Internet Day, the report also provides tips for managing the cumbersome yet necessary problem of passwords.

"The world of malware today is commoditized and professionalized," said Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure. "We saw this especially in the second half of last year in the form of more standardization of vulnerability exploitation and the increased use of automated exploit kits."

Exploit kits and old software vulnerabilities

2012 saw the exploitation of software vulnerabilities become the most popular way to gain access to a user's machine. In the second half of the year, exploit-related detections accounted for 28 percent of all detections, with 68 percent of those related to vulnerabilities in Java.

The majority of exploits detected were related to four vulnerabilities (two Windows and two Java), most likely a result of the fact that today's popular exploit kits, BlackHole and Cool Exploit, include exploits for these vulnerabilities. All of these vulnerabilities were reported in the last two years and have already had security patches released by their vendors -- a reminder of the importance of keeping software updated.

"Criminals in the malware system each handle their own little niches, their own little links in the chain," said Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor at F-Secure. "And exploits are the first link. They're how the criminals get in the door."

Mobile malware in numbers: Samples, or families and variants?

Android malware accounted for 79 percent (238) of all new, unique mobile malware variants in 2012, a number that speaks to the platform's domination of the mobile market. Symbian took up the next largest share, with 19 percent of detected variants.

2012 witnessed security vendors exclaiming about the growth of Android malware samples, from tens to hundreds of thousands, depending on the report. While sample count has increased, F-Secure Labs resists focusing merely on them, "as samples just represent the outer layer of the malware package," stated Sullivan.

"On the inside it's still the same malware family, but there can be a myriad of different ways to dress it up to try to disguise it. We instead prefer to focus on the number of families and variants." Sullivan points out that growth in malware samples is evidence of commoditization and automation on the production side, not necessarily of more malware families in the wild.

"At F-Secure, we have a more holistic understanding of the security landscape, that it cannot be dependent on merely one data point," commented Sullivan. "To base a security analysis on a single data point is either foolish, or marketing hype."

Botnets, banking trojans and the problem of passwords

Botnets, which had been handicapped in recent years by efforts from players in various affected fields, resurfaced in 2012 with new packaging and different methods. New business models like "rent-a-botnet" schemes are flourishing, where cybercriminals rent a whole network of infected computers and use it to perform their attacks. ZeroAccess, the fastest growing botnet, infected millions of computers globally in 2012, with up to 140,000 unique IPs in the US and Europe. Botnet Zeus, which is also a banking trojan, continues to reign, with the United States, Italy and Germany as the most affected countries.

The password, as the report says "is dead and we all know it." Strong enough passwords are often too cumbersome to remember, and complicating matters, a separate password should be used for each account. Even strong passwords can be reset with the right social engineering tactics. But until a better solution comes along, the report offers tips for safe password management.

For more details on the latest trends in threats, see F-Secure's Threat Report H2 2012.

More information: http://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_us/

How do I remember strong passwords?
http://safeandsavvy.f-secure.com/2013/01/21/how-do-i-remember-strong-passwords/

Safe Banking - Part 1: Strong Passwords
http://youtu.be/FkBJOW9fnNg

F-Secure - Protecting the irreplaceable

While you concentrate on what is important to you, we make sure you are protected and safe online whether you are using a computer or a smartphone. We also backup and enable you to share your important files. Our services are available through over 200 operators around the world and trusted in millions of homes and businesses. Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

f-secure.com | twitter.com/fsecure | facebook.com/f-secure

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Press contact:

Melanie Lombardi
LEWIS PR for F-Secure
+ 1 (415) 432-2400
Email Contact

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understand...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, includin...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of present...
VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market. With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been ...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focu...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
SYS-CON Events announced today Arista Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Arista Networks was founded to deliver software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award-winning 10/40/100GbE switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price-performance, with over 3,000 customers and more than three million cloud networking ports depl...
Application metrics, logs, and business KPIs are a goldmine. It’s easy to get started with the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) – you can see lots of people coming up with impressive dashboards, in less than a day, with no previous experience. Going from proof-of-concept to production tends to be a bit more difficult, unfortunately, and it tends to gobble up our attention, time, and money. In his session at DevOps Summit, Otis Gospodnetić, co-author of Lucene in Action and founder...
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, will explain the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is r...