In its Q1 2013 roundup, Trend Micro said that zero-day vulnerabilities, in addition to concentrated attacks that cause high-damage, such as those in South Korea, are on the rise and pose a serious risk to public organizations and personal information.
Trend’s researchers focused on the Black Hole exploit kit in their report, given that it’s one of the more prevalent kits targeting people online. At the same time, their quarterly report also singled out the traction gained by the White Hole (a fine-tuned version of Black Hole) and Cool Exploit kits. Each of them leveraged vulnerabilities in Oracle’s Java and Adobe’s Flash Player, Acrobat and Reader to attack people faster than they could be patched.
“Of course Java is cross-platform and that is somewhat attractive to criminals, but what is really attractive is its vulnerabilities and its ubiquity,” said Rik Ferguson, Trend Micro’s VP, Security Research.
“This definitely won’t be the last zero-day vulnerability in Java and it won’t be the end of the vast attack surface that it currently offers to criminals.”
In addition to vulnerabilities, Trend also reported on the high-profile attacks executed in South Korea this March. The report says that such attacks reinforce the notion that theft is no longer the sole focus of cyber criminals, rather the breaches were designed to inflict serious damage with “innovative techniques.”
Such techniques include multiplatform focus such as UNIX and Linux, in addition to Windows and Mac OS X; countermeasures for existing security software and other protections; and hacking patch management systems in order to keep existing holes open.
“Given the capability of what took place in South Korea, it is likely that increasingly destructive attacks will continue to be a threat,” said Tom Kellermann, VP, Cyber Security.
“With each quarter, attacks are becoming bolder and more targeted, pointing to concerns far beyond the compromise of personal data.”
The complete report is available online in PDF format.