Five Cyber Attacks that Made CISOs Rethink Security

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Skeleton Key

The cyber kill chain is getting smarter and more sophisticated, and malware that focuses on data exfiltration is on the rise. First seen in January 2015, Skeleton Key targets the keys to the authentication kingdom, namely the AD controller. Starting out by infecting the AD administrators (possibly via the web), this malware subsequently applies an in-memory patch to the AD controller, allowing it to masquerade as any other user to gain access to their data and email. Since the malware generates no abnormal network activity, it completely evades existing detection mechanisms. While the CTU researchers did not explicitly talk about the drop phase of the malware, it's likely to be web-borne and we are not surprised that signature and virtual execution products did not detect and stop this in the first place. As an industry, the real question to ask ourselves is how, not if, these types of malware can be completely eliminated.

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of global enterprises will have been directly compromised by an independent group of cyber activists or cyber criminals. Cyber crime is now considered a profession; malware and exploit kits are created and sold with guarantees to evade security controls. Further, Gartner estimates that while businesses spent more than $71 billion on information security in 2014, nearly $400 billion was lost globally as a result of cyber crime.

Security today is based on the premise that one can detect whether something is good or bad (e.g., web, email, files). This premise is fundamentally flawed as malware continues to evade even the latest security technologies. In this slideshow, Menlo Security CTO Kowsik Guruswamy has identified five different malware attacks that have had a profound impact on the cyber security industry.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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