ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? It is security threat alert time, this week courtesy of Trend Micro, Ashley Madison and the internet in general.
The Trend Micro Q3 Security Roundup has been tracking the international web threat network, and warned that the past three months have not been easy on users and devices and that both are becoming more susceptible to attack. The company blames this on data breaches and software vulnerabilities, neither of which are in decline.
"The report unravels the aftermath of security breaches, loopholes found in mobile platforms and exploits posing risks not only to user privacy, but to physical safety," blared the firm in the introduction.
"Additionally, these security gaps serve as a prelude to potentially massive events that Trend Micro believes will greatly affect 2016."
That is next year, but this year is bad enough. The past three months has seen a spike in attacks, and the proliferation of personal details for sale on the darkest parts of the internet.
"The evolution of breaches is beginning to take a turn toward real-world effects on enterprises' bottom lines and people's lives," said Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro.
"The emergence of numerous vulnerabilities and other data breaches that occurred in this quarter are bound to release more confidential and potentially destructive information to the public, which could then be sold to the highest bidder on the dark web."
Ashley Madison can be blamed for much of this personal leaking, according to Trend Micro, having "spurred a chain of attacks" and caused problems for some 30 million customers. There have even been suicides.
Mobile devices are an increasingly appealing target, and attackers have made moves on Android and iOS. The security firm suggested that the security wall around iOS is not as sound as was supposed. Stagefright, a long-standing problem for Android users, was a headliner, while the Apple CVE problems took the stand in the Cupertino corner.
Apple might get the worst of it in the future, according to Trend Micro. "While we can predict that Android vulnerabilities will continue to persist and exist, the revelations about iOS this quarter open the platform to bolder, more damaging attacks," the firm said.
The important takeaway is that we are doomed, and that next year is going to be even worse. Hackers are fast, enterprises are slow to react and, in general, the bad going is good. Prepare for a tough time, according to the firm.
"As Trend analysts have observed, cyber space has become more punitive and attacks are no longer isolated," said Tom Kellermann, chief cyber security officer at Trend Micro.
"To mitigate future breaches and reduce risk, enterprises must focus on intrusion suppression and address the advent of secondary infections.
"Integration of breach detection systems with intrusion prevention systems is fundamental to decreasing the time hackers dwell on their networks. 'Expect to be hit, prepare to survive' will become the mantra of the winter of 2016." µ
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