A report by the Security Engineering Research Team revealed that 70 percent of exploit kits reviewed were developed in Russia. In the fourth quarter, 58 percent of targeted vulnerabilities were 2 years old, confirming that cyber criminals still successfully use them.
One of the most popular exploit kits in 2012 was BlackHole 2.0, which was used to distribute 18 percent of malware samples analyzed by the SERT. China and Brazil are among the top three countries involved in developing and distributing exploit kits, with Russia in the lead.
â€œThe fact that cyber criminals are able to penetrate network defenses by targeting aging vulnerabilities and using old techniques demonstrates that many organizations are still playing catch-up when it comes to cyber security,â€ said Rob Kraus, SERT director of research. â€œTight budgets, inability to convince stakeholders at all levels that security should be a priority, and a shortage of research resources could be among the reasons why many security and risk teams are continuing to operate in reactive mode.”
The same report revealed that cyber criminals are no longer interested in performing large scale denial of service attacks, but instead target average users with laser-accurate phishing or social-engineering attacks.
Although most exploits in popular exploit kits date back to 2004, users and companies still seem vulnerable as popular exploit kits would not have included them in up-to-date builds. Advising both companies and end users to invest in security, SERT believes everyone should be more proactive instead of simply reacting to popular threats.