Welcome!

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...