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Posts Tagged ‘May’

May 2014 Cyber Attack Statistics

Update on 19/06/2013: I had to update the graph since, in compiling the first timeline of June, I discovered two attacks that apparently fell off my radar: the DDoS attacks to Moz and Plenty of Fish.

I found the time to aggregate the timelines of May (part I and part II) to derive some interesting stats. As a general rule, since many readers often pose the same questions, all the stats are derived from the Cyber Attacks Timelines I publish (almost) bi-weekly.

As I noticed previously in these pages, looks like attackers are just waiting for the Summer, since the number of events in May has experienced a sensible decreease.

The Daily Trend Of Attacks chart shows quite a linear trend with two small peaks around the 15 and 30 May. Overall the activity appears quite limited.

Trend May 2014

Cyber Crime rocks! This is the outcome of the Distribution of Attacks chart, showing a 67% of attacks carried on for criminal purposes. Particularly interesting is also the 11% of reported attacks related to Cyber Espionage.

Motivations May 2014

And in (too) many cases the reason of the attacks is unknown. At least this is what the Distribution of Attack Techniques chart states. Other interesting findings include the rise of Account Hijackings and the noticeable 9% of Targeted Attack (an high incidence this month, undoubtedly related to the similar high incidence of Cyber Espionage).

Techniques May 2014

And last but not least, the Distribution of Targets chart shows a predominance of attacks against Industry (41%), twice the occurrences related to Governmental targets (20%). Targets belonging to Educational institutions rank at number three with “only” the 9%.

Distribution May 2014

Drilling down the Industrial targets provides further interesting findings. Cyber Crime rules and, maybe not a coincidence, targets related to E-Commerce rank at number one (after all this was the month of the Ebay breach) together with software industries (18.2% both). Entertainment rank at number three with 13.6% each.

Industry May 2014

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”, or at least of the ones that gained space in the media (yes, using an abused expression this is just the tip of the Iceberg).

Of course follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Here we are with the second part of the timeline of May (first part here).

Summer is coming here, and looks like attackers prefer to spend more  time in the beach rather than in front of their keyboards. In fact the number of reported attack is confirming its decreasing trend, at least for this part of the year.

Nonetheless, the second part of may has brought some noticeable events, such as the attack to Ebay (potentially 145 million accounts compromised), the attack against the Avast! Forum (400,000 records compromised) and the Arkansas State University (“only” 50,000 records). Other noticeable (and funny) event includes the hack of a San Francisco road sign by a prankster announcing the attack by Godzilla!

Cyber Spies were indeed pretty active in this period. Chronicles report of the Operation Clandestine Fox, a cyber attack against several industries in Australia, an undisclosed utility attacked in the US, a three year social network poisoning campaign sponsored by Iran and, last but not least, the alleged attack against the $12.7 million supercomputer in New Zealand from Chinese attackers.

Instead the operations from Law Enforcement Agencies against Hacktivists seem to be effective, the number of attacks motivated by hacktivism is dramatically reducing.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

16-31 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timelinesv2

Read more…

1-15 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

May 27, 2014 1 comment

Here we have with the list of the most significant Cyber Attacks happened in the first half of April (according to my very own point of view).

There are few doubts about the fact that Orange is the winner of the unwelcome prize for the most noticeable breach after the theft of the information of 1.3 million users.

Other interesting events related to Cyber Crime include the breach of Bitly, the famous URL shortening service and a new heist against a virtual currency wallet (this time the victim is Doge Vault, one of the most popular online repositories for the cryptocurrency Dogecoin).

Moving to Cyber Espionage, this month reports two interesting events, the theft of Data related to the Ukraine crisis from the Belgian Foreign Ministry, and the discovery of Operation Saffron Rose, a long-term campaign against western defense contractor carried on by a team of Iranian hackers dubbed Ajax Security Team.

Last but not least, among the hacktivists, chronicles report of  a new action of the infamous Syrian Electronic Army (against four accounts of The Wall Street journal) and the usual skirmishes between Pakistani and Indian hackers (but is questionable in my opinion to determine if those events can be classified as part of a harmless cyber war or are rather mutual actions between hactivists acting on opposite sides).

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

1-15 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timelines Read more…

May 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

It’s time for a drill down to the Cyber Attacks Statistics for the month of May 2013. As many readers ask, the data for the stats is derived from the corresponding Cyber Attacks Timeline.

The Daily Trend of Attacks chart shows a month double-faced. After an initial peak, the first two weeks have shown a quite low activity. The second half of the month instead has shown a revamping of the activity.

Trend May 2013

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart is maybe the most interesting thing for this month: Cyber Crime has overtaken Hacktivism at the top of the chart, but most of all, the chronicles of this month have shed light on many noticeable attacks motivated by Cyber Espionage (most of all the infiltration against Qinetiq and the compromising of most sensitive U.S. advanced weapons systems). The Cyber War between Taiwan and Philippines also influenced the chart.

Motivations May 2013

The Distribution of Attack Techniques assigns to the SQL injection the crown of the most used weapon for the month of May. DDoS is “only” at the third place with the half of occurrences. It is interesting to notice the high rate of attacks made by mean of account hijacking, at number four with the 12% of occurrences. a clear consequence of the long trail of high-profile attacks perpetrated by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Attacks May 2013

In comparison with the previous months, the Distribution of Attacks Chart “misses” the influence of the DDoS attacks against the U.S. Banks. Industrial targets lead the chart, followed at close distance by Governmental targets. Victims belonging to Organizations rank at number three at a greater distance.

Targets May 2013

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

15-31 May 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here we are with the second part of the Cyber Attacks Timeline for May (first part here).

The second half of the month has shown an unusual activity with several high-profile breaches motivated by Cyber-Crime or Hacktivism, but also with the disclosure of massive Cyber-Espionage operations.

The unwelcome prize for the “Breach of the Month” is for Yahoo! Japan, that suffered the possible compromising of 22 million users (but in general this was an hard month for the Far East considering that also Groupon Taiwan suffered an illegitimate attempt to access the data of its 4.1 million of customers).

On the cyber-espionage front, the leading role is for the Chinese cyber army, accused of compromising the secret plans of advanced weapons systems from the U.S. and the secret plans for the new headquarter of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.

On the Hacktivism front, this month has been particularly troubled for the South African Police, whose web site has been hacked with the compromising of 16,000 individuals, including 15,700 whistle-bowlers.

Other noticeable events include the unauthorized access against the well known open source CMS Drupal (causing the reset of 1 million of passwords), the trail of hijacked Twitter accounts by the Syrian Electronic Army and also an unprecedented wave of attacks against targets belonging to Automotive.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

May 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline Part II Read more…

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1-15 May 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here we are with our bi-weekly review of the main cyber attacks. This time is the turn of the first half of May.

Probably this month will be remembered for the huge cyber-heist against two Payment Processors, and affecting two banks (National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman), which suffered a massive loss of $45 million due to an endless wave of unlimited withdrawals from their ATMs.

Other relevant actions related to Cyber-criminal operations include the massive breaches against MSI Taiwan (50,000 records affected) and most of all, the Washington state Administrative Office of the Courts (up to 160,000 SSN and 1 million driver’s license numbers).

On the other hand, the hacktivists concentrated their efforts on the so-called OpUSA (7 May), even if it looks like that most of the attacks were nuisance-level. Instead, and this is a great news, after months of intense activity, the operation Ababil come to a stop.

On the cyber war front, this month reports an unedited conflict between Taiwan and Philippines.

Last but not least, even if this attack dates back to 2007, on the Cyber-Espionage front, Bloomberg has shaken this lazy month revealing the repeated attacks by the infamous Comment Crew hackers against Qinetiq, a very critical Defense contractor. The cyber threats from the Red Dragon (real or alleged) keep on scaring the western world.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

May 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline Part I Read more…

June 2012 Cyber Attacks Statistics (Part I)

As usual, here we are with some fresh charts obtained from the first part of the June 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline.

Let us start with the Motivations Behind Attacks chart. Once again Cyber Crime Ranks at number 1, showing a growing trend respect May, from the 61% to 82% (at least in this first half). On the other hand, hacktivism-led cyber events have dropped from 30% to 14%. Apparently no explicit Cyber Warfare event has been detected, at least according to the data I collected.

Starting, from this month, to make the Distribution Of Targets chart less fragmented and more readable, I decided to aggregate all the attacks against Industries (and Organizations). With this new classification, Government targets go down at rank number 2 with the 15% of occurrences (against the 22% of the previous month), followed by targets belonging to education with the 10% (the same value collected on May). Interesting to notice is the apparent lack of attention by cybercrookers against Law Enforcement targets. In any case, if we consider the fact that Industry data have been aggregated, the chart is not so much different from the one of May: Governements keep on showing a worrying lack of Security.

Last but not least, during the first half of June, it has apparently been difficult to identify the 40% of the attack techniques, although, SQLi (and more in general DB vulnerabilities) keeps on to hold the crown among the identified events. Interesting to notice the drop of DDoS attacks (from 20% of the sample to 10%). Probably it is not a coincidence that it has followed the same trend than the hacktivism-driven Cyber Attacks, having halved its rate with respect to the previous month.

Again, no need to repeat that data must be taken very carefully since they do refers only to discovered attacks (the so-called tip of the iceberg), and hence do not pretend to be exhaustive but only aim to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape” of the month.

Furthermore, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

May 2012 Cyber Attacks Statistics

June 10, 2012 1 comment

As I did last month for the Cyber Attacks occurred in April, I have aggregated the data collected on the timelines of May (on the right) in order to provide a consolidated view of the month according to the three parameters of Motivations Behind Attacks, Distribution of Targets and Distribution of Attack Techniques. Again, no need to repeat that data must be taken very carefully since they do refers only to discovered attacks (the so-called tip of the iceberg), and hence do not pretend to be exhaustive but only aim to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape” of the month.

As far as Motivations Behind Attacks are concerned, month after month, the charts are becoming monotonous. Cyber Crime ranked undoubtedly at number one with the 61% of occurrences. Twice the occurrences of Hacktivism which ranked at number two. In this chart, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Espionage motivated-attacks are well behind although they were few but good (One Flame was enough for this month, wasn’t it?).

The Distribution of Targets chart is highly fragmented even if with a familar pattern:  Government targets ranked firmly on top of the preferences for the attackers, with Education and Law Enforcement targets completing the top three (although, compared to April, they swapped their positions in this unenviable chart). It worths to mention that targets belonging to organizations that offers on-line services are fragmented as well, but if the single entries are summed up, they would rank at number two with approximately the 15% of occurrences.

The Distribution of Attack Techniques chart whows that SQL Injection has been the preferred weapon used by Cyber Criminals in May, overtaking Distributed Denial of Service, the Cyber Paintball Pistol. Clearly the occurrences of DDoS attacks are influenced by the winds of hacktivism which did not blow so high in May. Interesting to notice a further important number of events (17% of the sample) related to unknown attacks targeting DBs, which clearly shows that data repositories are proving to be the weakes element of the chain. May the patch enFORCEment be with you!

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

1-15 May 2012 Cyber Attacks Statistics

May 20, 2012 2 comments

As I did in the last month, I have summarized the data collected in my Cyber Attacks Sample for the first half of May, (whose thumbnail is on the right), in order to provide some aggregated statistics. Collected Data have been summarized in three charts representing: Motivations Behind Attacks, Distribution of Targets and Distribution of Attack Techniques. Although the 60 attacks sample does not intend to be comprehensive (and hence the results must be taken with caution), the charts provide a quick overview, which in turn might be useful to identify trends and hopefully to address countermeasures. Apparently the trend is quite (un)stable with Cyber Crime, ranking at number one as the primary motivation for the attacks, and Governments that continue to be the preferred targets for cybercrookers.

As far as Motivations Behind Attacks are concerned, once again Cyber Crime ranks at number one with nearly the 70% of occurrences. Hacktivism is well behind with “only” the 23% followed by Cyber Warfare and Cyber Espionage that triggered singularly the 10% of attacks. If compared with April, the trend shows a growth of Cyber Crime and a corresponding reduction of hacktivism. As far as Cyber Espionage is concerned, particularly interesting om this month have been the Attack to U.K. Ministry Of Defence and to some undisclosed U.S. Natural Gas Companies.

The Distribution of Targets chart confirms that Governments continue to be the preferred targets for Cyber Criminals and Hacktivists with nearly one third (30%) of occurrences. With respect to April, targets belonging to educational sector have gained one position ranking at number two with the 15% of occurrences and before the LEAs which shifted at the third place with the 7% of occurrences. If we sum up military targets to LEAs we have the 12%. In any case the trend is in line with the previous month.

SQL Injection is the number one among Attack Techniques, with the 36% of occurrences taking over, at least in the first two weeks of may, Distributed Denial Of Service, that ranks at number two with the 18%. Summing up the “conclamated” SQLi Attacks with the “uncertain” SQLi Attacks, leads to the surprising result that nearly one attack on two (46%) has been performed exploiting this kind of vulnerability. So definitively run and patch your applications!

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates. Also feel free to submit at ppasseri@gmail.com details about Cyber attacks in order to make the timelines even more detailed and meaningful.

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