Saturday, February 26, 2011

Internet Security, Protection, Habits and Cybercrime

The nature and tactics of cybercriminals is rapidly changing. Operating systems, software and network equipment that used to protect your network probably no longer work. The habits that we use to work on the Internet have also changed and may have opened doors for hackers, malware and more
report from the Blue Coat WebPulse service and the Blue Coat Security Lab provide a comprehensive overview of the changing ways in which people are using the Internet and the new methods cybercrime is using perpetrate attacks.

As conditions and platforms change our use of the Internet also changes in response.

The current 2010 communication platforms based on usage are:

1) Social Networking

2) Personal Pages/Blogs

3) Chat/Instant Messaging

4) Email

Webmail has fallen to 17th place ( falling from ninth in 2009, and fifth in 2008)

Web search patterns for 2010 have changed from previous years:

1) Audio/Video Clips

2) New/Media

3) Reference

Personal search categories that were popular in previous years have lost position and declined in use, perhaps based on the state of the economy.

4) Dating/Personals

5) Pornography

8) Adult/Mature Content

With this change in usage come a shift in tactics used by cyber criminals. The landscape for 2010 revealed some noticeable shifts:

1) Cybercrime repositioned itself to take advantage of Social Networking relationships and infect friends and followers with malware. Phishing and click-jacking attacks on social networks became the most common types of attacks in 2010. The main focus of these attacks is to obtain user credentials that might also be the user name and password for banking, financial and other online accounts.

2) Use of hacked websites and email addresses of legitimate companies. Rather than using free domains as a penetration point sites with trusted reputations and good page rank and category recognition became the hackers preferred places from which to host an attack.

3) Attacks by malware moved to categories which would slip through spam filters and site block filters.

For example, Online Storage ranked second and Open/Mixed Content ranked sixth on the list of sites hosting malware. In fact, the number of new Online Storage sites hosting malware increased 13 percent and the number of new Open/Mixed Content sites hosting malware increased 29 percent. Interestingly, both of these categories would easily slip past most company’s filtering systems.

Based on the findings of this report many lessons can be learned to better protect employees and confidential data.

1) Web defenses must analyze data in real time and provide immediate attack alerts since attacks that only last for a few hours can still cause huge damage.

2) A defense that only utilizes reputation ratings will leave its users exposed to malware attacks from legitimate sites.

3) Web access never sleeps so network protection must provide security 24/7 regardless of location.

4) Malware can not be deterred through the use of data governance or automated prevention parameters. A dynamic Web defense must be implemented that can identify command and control servers and block data to/from those servers.

Set comprehensive policies, update your firewalls and make sure your network equipment systems and software have you protected against malicious attacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment