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
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, will provide economic scenarios that describe how the rapid adoption of software-defined everything including cloud services, SDDC and open networking will change GDP, industry growth, productivity and jobs. This session will also include a drill down for several industries such as finance, social media, cloud service providers and pharmaceuticals.
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
StackIQ has announced the release of Stacki 3.2. Stacki is an easy-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. Stacki 3.2 delivers new capabilities that simplify the automation and integration of site-specific requirements. StackIQ is the commercial entity behind this open source bare metal provisioning tool. Since the release of Stacki in June of 2015, the Stacki core team has been focused on making the Community Edition meet the needs of members of the community, adding features and value, while ...
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...