All companies host some kind of malware

One hundred percent of companies end up calling malicious malware hosts, according to Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report.

06/23/2014


One hundred percent of companies end up calling malicious malware hosts, according to Cisco's 2014 Annual Security Report. Cisco also believes that the length of time that such activity persists means network penetrations end up undetected.

Java is the leader of endpoint vulnerabilities, Cisco said, with far more exploits than either Flash or PDF: 91% of the live endpoint exploits detected by the Sourcefire FireAMP system attacked Java. Adobe Reader only managed 3% of detections (equal to Excel), with Word exploits at 2% and PowerPoint exploits at 1%.

Mobile malware is an emerging but still small part of the threat market, with Cisco saying it made up just 1.2% of the Web malware encounters it recorded. Android is far and away the most popular target at 99% of the attacks. Spyware and adware are emerging as Android threats, the report said.

Cisco said companies can expect distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaigns to last longer, with the company's CSO John Stewart quoted in the report as saying we should "expect future campaigns to be even more extensive and to last for extended periods." As an added twist, DDoS campaigns act as a diversion for other attacks such as fraud. All of this, the report said, will end up exacerbated by an ever-more acute skills shortage in the security industry.

Below are key findings from the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report:

Attacks against infrastructure are targeting significant resources across the Internet.

  • Malicious exploits are gaining access to web hosting servers, name servers, and data centers. This suggests the forming of uberbots that seek high-reputation and resource-rich assets.
  • Buffer errors are a leading threat, at 21% of the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) threat categories.
  • Malware encounters are shifting toward electronics manufacturing and the agriculture and mining industries at about six times the average encounter rate across industry verticals.

Malicious actors are using trusted applications to exploit gaps in perimeter security.

  • Spam continues its downward trend, although the proportion of maliciously intended spam remains constant.
  • Java comprises 91% of web exploits; 76% of companies using Cisco Web Security services are running Java 6, an end-of-life, unsupported version.
  • "Watering hole" attacks are targeting specific industry-related websites to deliver malware.

Investigations of multinational companies show evidence of internal compromise. Suspicious traffic is emanating from their networks and attempting to connect to questionable sites (100% of companies are calling malicious malware hosts).

  • Indicators of compromise suggest network penetrations may be undetected over long periods.
  • Threat alerts grew 14% year over year; new alerts (not updated alerts) are on the rise.
  • 99% of all mobile malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. Android users also have the highest encounter rate (71%) with all forms of web-delivered malware.

Cisco plays a critical role in evaluating threats, given the prevalence of its solutions and the breadth of its security intelligence:

  • 16 billion web requests are inspected every day through Cisco Cloud Web Security
  • 93 billion emails are inspected every day by Cisco's hosted email solution
  • 200,000 IP addresses are evaluated daily
  • 400,000 malware samples are evaluated daily
  • 33 million endpoint files are evaluated every day by FireAMP
  • 28 million network connects are evaluated every day by FireAMP

This results in the following threats being detected by Cisco:

  • 4.5 billion emails are blocked every day
  • 80 million web requests are blocked every day
  • 6,450 endpoint file detections occur every day in FireAMP
  • 3,186 endpoint network detections occur every day in FireAMP
  • 50,000 network intrusions are detected every day

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (ISSSource.com), a news and information website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector. This content originally appeared on ISSSource.com. Edited by Brittany Merchut, Project Manager, CFE Media, bmerchut(at)cfemedia.com 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.