Recorded Future has released its 2017 findings for the top 10 vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals, an analysis conducted due to a continued weakness in traditional vulnerability databases and scanning tools- they do not indicate which vulnerabilities are currently being exploited.
According to Recorded Future’s VP of Technical Solutions, Scott Donnelly, “We do this analysis because the sale and use of exploits is a for-profit industry. If you're a cybercriminal trying to make money, you have to discuss it. If you hold back too much you're not going to make any money; so, there's a necessity for the criminals to stick their heads up a little bit -- and we can take advantage of that and call out some of the big conversations." This means the report’s findings assume a correlation between chatter about a vulnerability with active exploitation of that vulnerability.
This year’s report highlights a move away from Adobe vulnerabilities to Microsoft consumer product vulnerabilities. Historically, Flash exploits have dominated these reports, however, this year’s report indicates 7 of the 10 most discussed vulnerabilities are now Microsoft Vulnerabilities, which many believe is due in part to the drop in Adobe Flash Player usage.
The report found that the three most used vulnerabilities are 1.) CVE-2017-0199, a vulnerability that allows hackers to download and execute a Visual Basic script containing PowerShell commands from a malicious document, 2.) CVE-2016-0189, an older internet explorer vulnerability that allows hackers to use an exploit kit to drop malware, such as ransomware, and 3.) CVE-2017-0022, a vulnerability which enables data theft.
Additionally, Recorded Future found only 10 new kits in 2017, compared to the 26 new kits discovered in 2016. Donnelly suggests the drop in activity is due partially to the rapid decline in Flash Player usage, adding, “Users have shifted to more secure browsers, and attackers have shifted as well. Spikes in cryptocurrency mining malware and more targeted victim attacks have filled the void."
NNT suggests implementing a robust System Hardening and Vulnerability Management solution coupled with tight change control to help fight to the persistence of vulnerabilities. Any configuration changes, be it a through patching or other system maintenance, may introduce vulnerabilities so visibility and control of changes is an essential security best practice.
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