4 December 2014

Q314 saw cyberattacks grow in volume and sophistication: Trend Micro

Source: Trend Micro website.
The third quarter saw a new critical vulnerability, Shellshock threaten more than half a billion servers and devices worldwide. This major development, as well as an uptick in volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, are detailed in Trend Micro's latest quarterly security roundup report, Vulnerabilities Under Attack: Shedding Light on the Growing Attack Surface. 

The report also reveals web platform and mobile app vulnerabilities that have broadened significantly, resulting in high-impact attacks on businesses and consumers alike.

“Our findings confirm that we are battling rapidly moving cybercriminals and evolving vulnerabilities simultaneously,” said Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro. “With this fluidity, it’s time to embrace the fact that compromises will continue, and we shouldn’t be alarmed or surprised when they occur. Preparation is key and as an industry we must better educate organisations and consumers about heightened risks as attacks grow in volume and in sophistication. 

"Understanding that cybercriminals are finding vulnerabilities and potential loopholes in every device and platform possible will help us confront these challenges so technology can be used in a positive way.”

The report dissects vulnerabilities such as Shellshock, which affects popular operating systems, including Linux,UNIX and Mac OS X. The surprising discovery of the Shellshock vulnerability emerged after going unnoticed for more than 20 years, suggesting the likelihood of more long, undiscovered vulnerabilities lurking within with operating systems or applications.

Vulnerabilities in mobile platforms and apps are also proving to be a greater challenge. As in previous quarters, the report cites that significant and critical vulnerabilities were found in mobile platforms, such as Android. Exploit kits were highly utilised in Web platforms and provided cybercriminals with another resource to compromise victim’s systems.

In an effort to steal credit card information and money, the report also reveals that threat actors are targeting large retailers’ Point-of-Sale (PoS) systems to execute massive data breaches. This ongoing practice further indicates that PoS networks are highly accessible and vulnerable. Cyber thieves also utilised updated versions of older versions of popular malware and online banking malware to successfully target victims.

Click here for the complete report, and read the associated blog post here.