Cross-Site Scripting and SQL Injection were the most popular attack types in 2013
Hackers launched more attacks from the commodity cloud than ever before
FireHost's data suggested the existence of a 'blackholing' effect
Major security incidents such as the Target data breach lowered the number of attacks on corporate web applications
"FireHost is working very closely with other leaders and innovative practitioners in the cyber security community to track, document and block attacks as soon as we encounter them. It is one of the major reasons for producing the quarterly Superfecta report." The Year of Cross-Site Scripting and SQL Injection The first quarter of 2013 set the tone for what was to come in the next 12 months. Cross-Site Scripting was the most prevalent Superfecta attack type in Q1 (with 1.2m attacks blocked) and it would continue to be so throughout the year, growing in popularity very slightly each quarter. SQL Injection attacks would follow a similar trend, increasing in volume substantially over quarters one, two and three.
Typically the preserve of only the most talented hackers, the increased popularity of SQL Injection and the possibility that these attacks were becoming easier to automate was cause for particular concern. FireHost issued a stark warning on the issue as part of its Q3 Superfecta report, where SQL Injection attacks had surged by nearly 100,000 compared to Q2. Read the full Q3 report here (link). The Year Hackers Turned to the Commodity Cloud During Q2 2013 FireHost blocked almost 24 million cyberattacks, including a large percentage increase in the number of common web attacks. In an attempt to uncover the root cause behind this trend, FireHost security experts discovered that blended, automated attacks were being used increasingly from within cloud service provider networks. Indeed this is supported by security services provider
FireHost CEO and founder,
Read the full Q2 report here (link). FireHost Uncovers New 'Blackholing' Effect Powered by ThreatSTOP, FireHost's new IP Reputation Management (IPRM) filter was implemented in Q4 2012 and the data was analyzed in each of FireHost's 2013 reports. Using this data, FireHost's IT security teams have since discovered evidence of a positive 'blackholing' side effect, whereby FireHost's IPRM filters have, over time, helped to hide FireHost's customers' IPs from would-be hackers, by making them resemble darknet/honeypot space. No attacker wants to be detected by connecting to darknets and will take extra care to avoid them.
Indeed, the blackholing effect has contributed to the total number of attacks blocked by FireHost dropping from 32m in Q3 2013 to 23m in Q4 2013.
For more information on how the blackholing effect works, please see FireHost's Q4 report here (link). 2013's Biggest IT Security Incidents Explained Using FireHost Data The biggest data breach incident in 2013 befell American retailing giant, Target, which exposed data from as many as 110 million customers - the ramifications of which have continued to develop this year. As well as the blackholing effect outlined in FireHost's Q4 Superfecta report,
"The Target data breach was monumental and it's no surprise that it had an impact on FireHost's attack data. There are only a few hundred criminal gangs worldwide running this kind of cybercrime operation so the actions of just a few can signal a big shift in the industry as a whole. We certainly saw this in the build up to the Christmas period and the Target attack. During this time, smart hackers may have ignored FireHost's servers completely and focussed all their efforts on obtaining consumer data during the busy online retail season. Others would simply have been too busy running up charges on Target customers' credit cards to bother with doing anything else.
"It was a similar case in spring/summer 2013. The number of attacks filtered by FireHost's IPRM service fell dramatically and I wouldn't be surprised if this was, in part, due to the big
Keywords for this news article include: FireHost, Information Technology, Information and Data Security.
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