Common security threats – Download Hijacking

The first key to any effective security game plan is knowing what you’re up against. We decided to share some of our knowledge and create for you a set of short, informative but simple blogs where you’ll learn all about ten of the most common threats your company is likely to face. While by no means comprehensive, these blogs can help you better understand some of the tactics being directed against you and your users, along with the specific reasons you’re potentially vulnerable to each.

From phishing to ransomware to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, the more you know about these threats, the better. They’re some of the leading causes of data breaches, downtime, and a severe lack of sleep 🙂

What it is:

In nature, the big predators hang out at standard water holes and wait for their prey to come by. On the Internet, the big predators find ways to turn popular website visits into covert attacks. In some cases, they inject code through comments that force unsuspecting visitors to download malware automatically. In other cases, they compromise the web server and inject malicious code into seemingly legitimate downloads. Another trick is to utilize exploit kits, programs designed to actively probe the website visitor’s system for software vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

What makes protection a challenge:

Not only do attackers have the element of surprise in these situations, but they also have a collection of tricks to make sure they’re successful. If you update your browser, they’ll update their code. If you patch a vulnerability, they’ll move on to a new one. It’s also not as if we’re talking about strictly sketchy websites. Some of the web’s most popular sites (The New York Times, the BBC, AOL, the MSN homepage) have been compromised in the past. You usually can’t ask employees to stop using the Internet altogether.

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