Windows regains mantle of most vulnerable
London, UK - 14 August 2002, 11:30 GMT - mi2g The latest
figures compiled by the Intelligence Unit at mi2g indicate that
Windows has once again regained the position of most vulnerable online operating
Although overt attacks on Microsoft Windows based systems had been broadly
falling in the first quarter of 2002, the rate at which Windows systems are
being compromised is outpacing Linux again, having increased by 5% in June
followed by a further 12% rise in July. In comparison, attacks on Linux systems
decreased by 39% in June.
In April and May this year, Linux systems were successfully attacked worldwide
in far greater numbers (2192 / 2057) than Windows systems (1677 / 1991). In
June and July however, the trend reversed and more Windows systems (2082 /
2338) were compromised than Linux systems (1260 / 1711).
The sudden rise in attacks on systems running Linux earlier this year was
due to several easily exploitable vulnerabilities being uncovered in open
source third party applications such as PHP scripts and bulletin boards. Bad
or default configuration of Linux and the applications running on it were
also determining factors for the success of the overt attacks.
A total of 27,273 successful overt digital attacks have taken place so far
in 2002, 47% were on systems running Windows, 36% on Linux based systems and
17% on various operating systems including Unix, BSD, Solaris, AIX and others.
“The recent Apache vulnerabilities have affected
both Windows and Linux systems. Online administration is about overall configuration
management. At one level it is about patching the known vulnerabilities of
the OS and the server software that runs on top. At another level it is about
selecting reliable third party applications so as to stop them from being
used as a launch pad for deeper penetration,” said DK Matai,
Chief Executive of mi2g.
The top ten domains that have been the biggest victims of digital attack
so far in 2002 are: .com (Commercial), .de (Germany), .br (Brazil), .net (Network),
.org (Organization), .it (Italy), .uk (UK), .kr (Korea), .tw (Taiwan) and
.ch (Switzerland) in that order.
Executive Summary of the July 2002 SIPS Report - July was the second
most intense month on record for overt digital attacks with 4,879 incidents,
the peak being May 2002 with 4,897. The most prominent hacker group in July
was hax0rs lab. The operating system most susceptible to attack was Microsoft
Windows followed by Linux reversing the April/May one off blip in which Linux
overtook Windows temporarily. The most attacked domain after .com was .it
(Italy) followed by .br (Brazil) and then .net and .org. The principal motives
for digital attacks have been political tension and protest; anti-globalisation,
environmental and animal rights protest; disgruntled or misdirected workforce;
intellectual challenge; commercial gain.
Notes to Editors
mi2g has been collecting data on overt digital attacks going back
to 1995 via the SIPS (Security Intelligence Products and Systems)
database. The SIPS database has information on over 70,000 overt digital
attacks and over 6,000 hacker groups. The SIPS intelligence citations
include the 2002 Computer Security Institute (CSI) / Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) Computer Security Issues and Trends Survey [Vol. VIII, No. 1 - Spring
Detailed copies of the SIPS reports for each month, including back
issues can be ordered from the email@example.com
. A vetting process may be carried out prior to the release of the SIPS
reports to individuals and for overseas orders.
mi2g solutions engineering pays particular regard to security. mi2g
advises on the management of Digital Risk and incorporates Bespoke Security
Architecture in its SMART sourcing solutions. mi2g has pioneered the
Contingency Capability Radar to assist in rigorous business continuity planning
based on ISO 17799.
For further information - www.mi2g.net
What are Asymmetric Threats?
Any threat, which is disproportionate, such as the risk of a small group
attacking a large country or a few individuals harming thousands is described
as asymmetric. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and digital (CBRN-D)
attacks can all manifest asymmetrically.
What is Bespoke Security Architecture?
Bespoke Security Architecture brings together firewall layers, intrusion
detection and other defensive structures, as well as automated intelligence
techniques with legal, human resource and company policies.
What is Digital Risk Management?
Digital Risk Management deals with a variety of issues associated with implementing
digital solutions and integrating Service Level Management. It includes selecting
the optimum technology set, managing external partners and alliances, linking
payments to targets, defining rigorous quality control procedures, managing
the growth in online traffic post launch, achieving the expected return on
investment, and bringing about the changes in the corporate culture required
for successful eBusiness.
What is the Contingency Capability Radar?
The Contingency Capability Radar is an ISO 17799 based platform, containing
tools and templates to assess and visualise risk exposure of an entire global
What is SMART Sourcing?
mi2g SMART Sourcing is the careful selection of cost effective and
trustworthy suppliers from around the world for building and maintaining highly
secure digital platforms on a 24 by 7 basis.
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