Drive-bys top cyber threats

Euro agency highlights what the bad guys are up to

ENISA cyber threat report cover

Drive-by exploits are currently posing the leading threat to online security, according to the EU's cyber security ENISA.

It has identified the issue in its first Cyber Threat Landscape analysis of 2012, summarising 120 recent reports from the security industry, networks of excellence, standardisation bodies and other independent parties.

The report says that malware, which has long been a common threat to PCs, is now aimed increasingly at mobiles, and that the first drive-by download malware for Android was spotted last May. In addition, most malware distribution now takes place through compromised websites, and attackers often use marketing service providers' applications to deliver malicious payloads.

The other nine of the top 10 threats were, in order, worms/Trojans, code injection attacks, exploit kits (software packages to automate cyber crime), botnets (hijacked computers), distributed denial of service attacks, phishing, data breaches, rogueware/scareware (for the fake removal of malware) and spam.

ENISA said that, to respond to the threats, threat reports should use a common terminology, and intelligence on attacks should be collected. It also advocated the development of use cases for threat landscapes, the collection of more evidence on the impact of attacks, and the collation of more information about threat agents.

Professor Ubo Helmbrecht, executive director of ENISA said that he hopes the analysis will become a point of reference for stakeholders in cyber security.