By Charles Leaver

Data leakage risks: Spam and streaming platforms

It seems that on an almost daily basis, security researchers are discovering new techniques utilized by cybercriminals to exploit enterprise systems. It is important to remain current with industry threats, especially those affecting the software or hardware utilized within the businesses, in order to mitigate the risk associated with these programs and data leakage.

Spam anyone?
Malicious spam is also climbing the list of endpoint security risks affecting organizations. Information from Kaspersky Lab showed that the amount of spam emails dropped 2.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013. However, overall malicious spam numbers multiplied 1.5 times compared to the previous quarter, stated news24.

A main trend in malicious spam is utilizing current news stories to lure users into clicking on links that redirect traffic to compromised websites, according to news24. In such a case, cybercriminals utilize the popularity and demand for news on current hot topics, including Edward Snowden and the birth of Prince William’s baby. When users click on link pertaining to these ‘stories’ they are taken to sites containing the Blackhole exploit kit. However, the author of the kit, known only as Paunch, was recently arrested in Russia.

“What this will mean for the future of the kit remains unclear, but Kaspersky Lab experts suggest it could lead to a drop in the number of malicious ‘news’ mailings,” Kaspersky Lab representatives stated.

Malware of this kind usually aims to capture login credentials, passwords and financial information, according to news24. Furthermore, malware can also cause infected systems to become part of a botnet, a system of devices utilized by cybercriminals to disperse malicious programs and mailings.

Streaming media platforms lead to security exploit
Another recent threat to endpoint security is a Microsoft Silverlight 5 exploit affecting users of the streaming media platform Netflix. According to Infosecurity, Netflix uses Silverlight as the platform to provide users with content.

The vulnerability has been integrated into the Angler exploit kit, which first appeared in October. If a user happens upon an infected page, the kit will analyze the platform for information including what version of Silverlight is installed and running on the device. If the weakness has not been patched, the computer is labeled a target and the user is directed to a “specially crafted library.” This step in the infection process exploits the vulnerability, essentially creating an entryway for malware.

Although Infosecurity stated that Microsoft released a patch for the flaw in March, some users still have not downloaded the upgrade, making their system vulnerable to this exploit kit.

If users find that their systems have been affected by a data breach of the above mentioned kinds, they can turn to Ziften, a leading provider of intrusion forensic analysis. This process discovers all information relevant to the attack contained in the infected system, which can help prevent further data leakage and shape security policies.

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