Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Website Attack Attempts Rose by 69% in 2018

Millions of websites have been compromised, but the most likely malware isn't cyptomining: it's quietly stealing files and redirecting traffic, a new Sitelock report shows.

Websites suffer an average of 62 serious attack threats per day -- an average of 376 million per day, according to a new study of more than 6 million websites worldwide.

"Even though the numbers seems a little small, 62 attacks is still a pretty big number," says Monique Becenti, product and channel marketing specialist at SiteLock, which published the study in a report today.

Those attacks weren't concentrated in ransomware and cryptomining malware, but in such "classic" techniques as backdoors, shells, and JavaScript files. The JavaScript attacks are notable because they tend not to directly attack the website, but to hijack visitor traffic and send them to alternate, illegitimate destinations.

The report points out both the type of stealth attack seen in 2018 and the risk factors for compromise, factors that boil down to site complexity, site popularity, and site composition, or the software or CMS used to build the site.

According to the report, sites built with one of the three leading CMS platforms — Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress — are from 1.6 to 2.2 time more likely to be infected with malware than the average site. The issue, though, is not as simple as a problem with vulnerable CMS platforms, according to Becenti.

"Core files are starting to update a lot faster, as far as checking the security vulnerabilities," she says of the major CMS platforms. "However, one of the primary culprits I feel we have to be worried about are plug-ins and schemes."

Becenti notes that the three major CMS platforms are much more diligent than they once were about patching vulnerabilities and sending updates in a timely fashion. The hundreds or thousands of third-party plug-ins that add functionality to the core platforms, though, are where many vulnerabilities are introduced — and where many of those vulnerabilities remain for months or years without being patched.

"Website attack attempts per day grew by 59% from January 2018 to December 2018," according to the report.

In terms of the total number of sites surveyed, the report says that approximately 1% of all sites are infected with malware at any given time — making roughly 17.6 million websites worldwide struggling with an infection every day. And of those infected sites, 50% had at least one backdoor, 48% had at least one shell script, 47% had at least one file-hacker, and 46% had at least one malicious evaluation request.

And SiteLock said cryptomining malware was found on just 2% of infected sites.

Related Content:

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
The Security of Cloud Applications
Hillel Solow, CTO and Co-founder, Protego,  7/11/2019
US Mayors Commit to Just Saying No to Ransomware
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-13640
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-17
In qBittorrent before 4.1.7, the function Application::runExternalProgram() located in app/application.cpp allows command injection via shell metacharacters in the torrent name parameter or current tracker parameter, as demonstrated by remote command execution via a crafted name within an RSS feed.
CVE-2019-5222
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-17
There is an information disclosure vulnerability on Secure Input of certain Huawei smartphones in Versions earlier than Tony-AL00B 9.1.0.216(C00E214R2P1). The Secure Input does not properly limit certain system privilege. An attacker tricks the user to install a malicious application and successful ...
CVE-2019-1919
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-17
A vulnerability in the Cisco FindIT Network Management Software virtual machine (VM) images could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker who has access to the VM console to log in to the device with a static account that has root privileges. The vulnerability is due to the presence of an account w...
CVE-2019-1920
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-17
A vulnerability in the 802.11r Fast Transition (FT) implementation for Cisco IOS Access Points (APs) Software could allow an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on an affected interface. The vulnerability is due to a lack of complete error handling conditi...
CVE-2019-1923
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-17
A vulnerability in Cisco Small Business SPA500 Series IP Phones could allow a physically proximate attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the device. The vulnerability is due to improper input validation in the device configuration interface. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by access...