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Posts Tagged ‘Imperva’

DDoS and SQLi are the Most… Discussed Attack Techniques

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Imperva has just published the results of its annual analysis on one of the largest-known hacker forums counting approximately 250,000 members.

The research (also made on other smaller forums) used the forum’s search engine capabilities to analyze conversations by topic using specific keywords. Unfortunately no details have been provided about the methodology used to collect the data, however the results show that SQL Injection and DDoS are the most discussed topic, both of them with the 19% of discussion volume (I am glad to see that the results are coherent with the findings of my Cyber Attack Statistics).

Of course the data must be taken with the needed caution since the analyzed sample could not be entirely consistent. As Imperva admits: “The site we examined is not a hardcore crime site, but it’s not entirely softcore. New hackers come to this site to learn and,on the other hand, more experienced hackers teach to gain “street cred” and recognition […]. Typically, once hackers have gained enough of a reputation, they go to a more hardcore, invitation-only forum.” This probably means that the incidence of the two attack techniques is overrated since one should expect a beginner hacker to approach the easiest and most common attack methods for which there are many tools available.

Anyway the events of the last months show that an attack does not deserve less attention only because it is carried on by a beginner, nor a beginner worries too much if he uses automated tools without full knowledge and awareness. A look to the infosec chronicles of the last period is sufficient to verify that DDoS and SQLi attacks are always in the first pages.

Sadly, Imperva estimates that only the 5% of the security budget is spent on thwarting SQL Injection attacks.

Other interesting findings of the research are: the fact that social networks pose a major interest for hackers since they are becoming a prominent source of information and potential monetary gain (Facebook was the most discussed social media platform, with 39%, immediately followed by Twitter at 37%), and also the fact that E-whoring is becoming one of the most common methods for beginner cyber criminals to gain easy money (more than 13,000 threads observed).

The Italian Job

March 13, 2012 5 comments

The Italian Anonymous did it again and today have attacked for the second time in few days the vatican.va website. Actually this time their attack has apparently been deeper since the infamous collective also posted a small portion of a database claimed to have been leaked from radiovaticana.org, the website of the official Vatican Radio.

The inevitable statement on pastebin (so far only in Italian) quotes Imperva, the Israeli Company Focused on Application Security which claimed, few days ago, to have prevented, in August, a summer attack against the Vatican, using the collected information to profile a typical Anonymous DDoS attack.

Of course the pastebin suggests that this attack has been a kind of retaliation against the information disclosed by Israeli Security Company in their detailed report, nevertheless this has been only the last DDoS attack in Italy in this troubled weekend that has seen several websites falling under the LOIC shots: Saturday the Italian Railways have been hit (three domains), and yesterday Equitalia, the company owning the concession, on behalf of the Government, to collect taxes.

This (un)expected revamp of DDoS activity in Italy comes approximately nearly a couple of months after the LOIC attacks unchained by the MegaUpload shutdown, and nearly nine months after the waves of attacks which made the Italian Summer a very hot season for Information Security.

Besides, so far the preferred targets of The Anonymous in Italy have been Government and Politician Websites, targeting the Vatican Site, looks like this time the Anonymous crossed the line.

As a matter of fact I have decided to write down in a table all the hacktivism-led attacks carried on Italy from the 2011 onwards. I have collected the information on the attacks during the gathering of the necessary material to prepare my timelines for 2011 and 2012. In reading the list, please consider that several DDoS attacks were only claimed by the attackers, so it is really difficult discriminate if they were succesful or not, nevertheless I thought it appropriate to insert them all to provide a global view.

So far, you will notice that the Hackvism in Italy has passed three main phases: the summer phase, maybe interrupted by the wave of arrests in July; the winter phase, as quoted above, immediately after the Megaupload shutdown on the wake of the anti-SOPA/PIPA/ACTA movements; and the current phase (may we define it a spring phase?) triggered by the delicate internal sociopolitical situation….

March 2011

04/03/2011 finmeccanica.it DDOS Military Industry
04/03/2011 eni.it DDOS Energy
04/03/2011 unicredit.it DDOS Finance

June 2011

21/06/2011 ilpopolodellalibertà.it DDoS Political Parties
21/06/2011 governoberlusconi.it DDoS Political Parties
21/06/2011 pdl.it DDoS Political Parties
21/06/2011 governoberlusconi.it DDoS Political Parties
21/06/2011 silvioberlusconifansclub.org DDoS Political Parties
21/06/2011 forzasilvio.it DDoS Political Parties
22/06/2011 governo.it DDoS Government
22/06/2011 camera.it DDoS Government
22/06/2011 senato.it DDoS Government
22/06/2011 interno.it DDoS Government
22/06/2011 regione.campania.it DDoS Government
22/06/2011 pdl.it DDoS Political Parties
22/06/2011 renatobrunetta.it DDoS Political Parties
22/06/2011 innovazionepa.gov.it DDoS Government
23/06/2011 governo.it DDoS Government
23/06/2011 agcom.it DDoS Government
23/06/2011 leganord.org DDoS Political Parties
24/06/2011 governo.it DDoS Government
24/06/2011 giustizia.it DDoS Government
28/06/2011 agcom.it DDOS Government
29/06/2011 camera.it DDoS Government
29/06/2011 pdl.it DDoS Government
29/06/2011 mediaset.it DDoS Entertainment
30/06/2011 telecomitalia.it DDoS ISP
30/06/2011 poste.it DDoS Mail
30/06/2011 borsaitaliana.it DDoS Finance

July 2011

01/07/2011 leganord.org DDoS Political Parties
01/07/2011 agcom.it DDoS Government
02/07/2011 innovazionepa.gov.it DDoS Government
02/07/2011 governo.it DDoS Government
03/07/2011 agcom.it DDoS Government
04/07/2011 agcom.it DDoS Government
06/07/2011 19 Universities:                  unisi.it
SQLi? Education
31/07/2011 vitrociset.it Defacement Contractor

August 2011

03/08/2011 vitrociset.it Defacement Contractor
06/08/2011 sappe.it Defacement Law Enforcement Agencies

September 2011

02/09/2011 Undisclosed Bank ? Finance

November 2011

29/11/2011 fiocchigfl.it Defacement Military Industry

December 2011

06/12/2011 torino-lione.it Defacement Transportation
06/12/2011 ghiglia.it Defacement Political Parties
19/12/2011 fabriziocorona.it Defacement Entertainment
19/12/2011 costantinovitaliano.it Defacement Entertainment

January 2012

10/01/2012 leganord.org Defacement Political Parties
13/01/2012 italia.gov.it DDoS Political Parties
22/01/2012 siae.it DDoS Entertainment
22/01/2012 universalmusic.it DDoS Entertainment
22/01/2012 copyright.it DDoS Entertainment
22/01/2012 giannifava.org DDoS Political Parties
22/01/2012 leganord.org DDoS Political Parties
24/01/2012 giustizia.it DDoS Government
26/01/2012 italia.gov.it DDoS Government

February 2012

11/02/2012 circondarialetorino.it Defacement Law Enforcement Agencies
17/02/2012 rivagroup.com DDoS Military Industry
17/02/2012 enel.it DDoS Energy
18/02/2012 mauriziopaniz.it Defacement Political Parties
22/02/2012 binetti.it Defacement Political Parties
27/02/2012 polizia.it DDoS Law Enforcement Agencies
27/02/2012 carabinieri.it DDoS Law Enforcement Agencies

March 2012

07/03/2012 vatican.va DDoS Religion
10/03/2012 trenitalia.it DDoS Transportation
10/03/2012 RFI.it DDoS Transportation
10/03/2012 viaggaintreno.it DDoS Transportation
11/03/2012 equitalia.it DDoS Services
12/03/2012 vatican.va DDoS Religion
12/03/2012 radiovaticana.org Defacement Religion
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Advanced Persistent Threats and Human Errors

November 20, 2011 1 comment

In these days many people are asking me what they can do to stop an Advanced Persistent Threat. Although security firms are running fast to develop new technologies to thwart these attack vectors (sophisticated SIEMs and a new breed of network security devices, the so called Next Generation IPSs), unfortunately I am afraid the answer is not so easy. I might spend thousands of words to figure out the answer, but I would not be able to give a better representation than this cartoon I found a couple of days ago in the Imperva Blog.

Intentional or unintentional the human error is always the first vector an Advanced Persistent Threat exploits to enter the organization: as a matter of fact all the APT attacks recorded in 2011 (and unluckily examples abound in the news), have a point in common: the initial gate which allowed the attack to enter, that is the user.

The last resounding example is not an exception to this rule: on Friday November, the 17th Norway’s National Security Authority (NSM) confirmed that systems associated with the country’s oil, gas, and energy sectors were hit with a cyber attack, resulting in a loss of sensitive information. If we look at the information available for this attack, it is really easy to find all the ingredients of a typical APT Attack: virus spread via malware-infected emails sent to “selected individuals”, sophisticated malware designed to avoid detection by anti-virus solutions, and, last but not least, sophisticated malware designed to steal information from the victim’s computer: documents, drawings, username and password.

So at the end which is the key to face an APT, before the technology itself is able to catch it? The answer (and the technology) spins around the user which is the first firewall, IPS, anomaly detector, who can stop an APT. Of course exactly like security devices must be configured to stop the intrusion attempts, analogously users must be configured educated not to accept virtual candies from strangers, hence acting as unintentional gates for the threats to enter the organizations. This often happens because of shallow behaviors or also because of behaviors in clear contrast with the internal policy (yes the infamous AUP). I use to say that security is a mindset, quite similar to distrust: you have it since you are naturally born with it, or you may simply be educated to embrace it.

Keep in mind the central role of the user inside the security process since 2012 will be the year of APTs… Would you ever buy (and heavily pay) an armored door for your home and give the key to people you do not trust?


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