The three most common web based attacks and how to protect against them

Cybercriminals increasingly are attacking enterprises at their weakest point: the end user device. New forms of malware and social engineering attacks threaten your users every day, and even more so as they expand their use of Web-based applications.

1. Drive-by downloads.

Users are visiting known websites that have a good reputation and don’t even think that it might be possible that something wrong can happen.

If such website had some vulnerabilities or was simply hacked and the cybercriminals manipulated it to serve malware, then a huge amount of users can be endangered.

A drive-by download happens usually by of fooling the user to click on something that triggers the download. In some cases, due to exploits (web, java, flash, etc.), there is automatically a file dropped on user’s computer and executed.

The only way to not become a victim of such an attack is to have a security solution installed and running. The solution must have also a web filter near the real time protection which is a default in any serious product. The web filter intercepts the HTTP traffic before it reaches the real time scanner and it might be able to remove the dangerous content or at least to prevent it for being displayed.

 2. Web exploits

The exploits are more dangerous than the drive-by downloads because the vulnerabilities in websites can be used to download and install malicious software without user intervention. In this case the only chance to block the malicious payload is that the security solution detects it when it reaches users’ computers.

 3. Social engineering

If the first two attacks can be prevented by installing a security solution, this attack can’t be easily prevented by automatic means. Social engineering is using human greediness and curiosity and this drives people to do things which they would not normally do. These techniques are just the trigger to bring the user into a vulnerable state so that he executes the malicious programs. This happens usually by just clicking on some links, installing a software (like a codec required to visualize some interesting movies or pictures) or just to take part in a lottery that could bring high revenue.

 


© Copyright 2013 Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca

Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since year 2000 in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is an independent IT Security Consultant focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .

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