Cyber and Physical Convergence is Creating New Attack Opportunities for Cybercriminals

By : |March 5, 2019 0
Fortinet Threat Landscape Report Reveals Half of Top 12 Global Exploits Targeted IoT Devices

Fortinet announced the findings of its latest quarterly Global Threat Landscape Report. The research reveals that cybercriminals are constantly evolving the sophistication of their attacks—from continuing to exploit the vast insecurity of IoT devices, to morphing open source malware tools into new threats. For a detailed view of the Threat Landscape Indices for exploits, botnets, and malware, as well as some important takeaways for CISOs read the blog. Highlights of the report follow:

  • Exploit Index All-time High: According to the Fortinet Threat Landscape Index, cybercriminals remained hard at work even during a holiday season. After a dramatic start, the Exploit Index settled in the latter half of the quarter. While cyber adversary activity overall subsided slightly, the number of exploits per firm grew 10%, while unique exploits detected increased 5%. At the same time, botnets become more complex and harder to detect. Time for infection of botnets increased by 15%, growing to an average of nearly 12 infection days per firm. As cybercriminals employ automation and machine learning to propagate attacks, security organizations need to do the same to combat these advanced methods.

 

  • Monitor the Monitoring Devices: The convergence of physical things and cybersecurity is creating an expanded attack surface, one that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting. Half of the top 12 global exploits targeted IoT devices, and four of the top 12 were related to IP-enabled cameras. Access to these devices could enable cybercriminals to snoop on private interactions, enact malicious onsite activities, or gain an entry point into cyber systems to launch DDoS or ransomware attacks. It is important to be aware of hidden attacks even in devices we use to monitor or provide security.

  • Tools Open to Anyone: Open source malware tools are very beneficial to the cybersecurity community, enabling teams to test defenses, researchers to analyze exploits, and instructors to use real-life examples. These openware tools are generally available from sharing sites such as GitHub, and as these are available to anyone, adversaries can also access them for nefarious activities. They are evolving and weaponizing these malware tools into new threats, withransomware comprising a significant number of them. An example where openware source code has been weaponized is the Mirai IoT botnet. An explosion of variants and activity continues to be catalogued since its release in 2016. For cybercriminals innovation continues to be the land of opportunity.

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