Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 20:53

Attacks against outsourcers on the rise: ACSC Featured

By

Attacks against third parties that provide services to a company or an agency have increased in Australia over the 2016-17 period covered by the Australian Cyber Security Centre's annual threat report.

As it became more difficult to directly attack an entity, attackers were resorting to secondary or tertiary access, the report said.

"Companies that provide products or services through outsourcing arrangements are highly attractive in this regard. Such providers usually have trusted relationships with their customers and are provided with extensive access," it said.

Various methods were adopted to compromise a third party:

  • exploiting the direct connectivity that a provider has with customer data and networks;
  • modifying the provider's software or other products with malicious content, which is then installed on customer networks;
  • gaining access to credentials to allow seemingly legitimate access to the target network; and
  • engineering sophisticated spear-phishing emails to deliver malware and thus compromise a target network.

The report said managed service providers were increasingly being targeted in order to compromise networks and data of their customers.

"They are a very attractive compromise target for sophisticated adversaries as they have a broad range of customers, connectivity and accesses to their customers’ networks and data, and present opportunities for further network exploitation," the report said.

msp graphic

Different levels of risk exposure.

"Compromising MSPs can also be efficient tradecraft for malicious cyber adversaries. By compromising an MSP, a sophisticated cyber adversary can gain access to the data or networks of many MSP customers in one action."

The ACSC said it had observed the compromise of Australian arms of multinational MSPs and also observed adversaries using the compromise of the MSP to subsequently compromise the MSP’s customers.

Early this year, the agency became aware of the fact that the Australian unit of a multinational construction services company had been compromised.

The Australian Signals Directorate and CERT Australia investigated and found that the company had been infiltrated through an MSP.

Using an account associated with the MSP, malicious software was installed on the victim's network. The account had been created by the organisation that was attacked specifically for the MSP to log in and access its network.

"The example also highlights the risk that companies can be compromised through their service provider, without either the company or provider knowing. It also demonstrates the types of risks that organisations face when they outsource certain activities, or when they outsource with little consideration to security," the report said.

Commenting on the ACSC report, Dan Slattery, a senior information security analyst at security outfit Webroot, told iTWire: “The threat report details some concerning findings for both the government and private sector. While awareness of cyber crime is certainly on the rise, so too is the threat that it poses, with the Report claiming 47,000 cyber incidents took place in the past 12 months alone. Much of the report’s findings match up with the real world data that we are seeing from our customers.

“With Webroot’s latest research report revealing a cyber attack on an Australian business with 100 to 499 employees would cost on average $1.9 million, it’s clear that the constantly evolving threat landscape is having a costly impact.

“The Report’s findings demonstrate that simply relying on threat lists, virus signatures, and simplistic rules for protection is wholly insufficient. Proven, real-time machine learning-based analysis that includes an understanding of threat behaviour and context is necessary for accurate decision making and protection from today’s threats.”

Graphic: courtesy Australian Cyber Security Centre


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments