28 June 2006 | 5,172 views

Web Services Attack Frequency Increasing

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As we’ve reported a few times recently, more and more attacks being aimed at Web Services such as Orkut, MySpace, Ebay and others.

As more people turn to web applications for everyday tasks like e-mail, friendship and payments, cyber criminals are following them in search of bank account details and other valuable data, security researchers said.

Users of Yahoo’s e-mail service, Google’s Orkut social networking site and eBay’s PayPal online payment service were among the targets of attacks in recent weeks. All three companies have acknowledged and plugged the security holes.

Money is to be made with users data, usually credit card details. It’s also a numbers game, 90% of users are using MS operating systems and most people are still using Internet Exploder. So its pretty easy to target them with the right combination of scripting and browser exploits.

The attacks come as Microsoft, whose Windows operating system runs about 90 percent of the world’s computers, has plugged many of the most easily exploited holes in its e-mail program, browser and other products following dozens of embarrassing breaches over the past several years.

They also come amid the growing popularity of online communities such as MySpace.com and of web-based calendar, messaging and other services offered by Google, Yahoo and others.

The only difference that has shown up is the speed in which web services providers patch the holes in constrast to the time it takes Microsoft or other traditional software vendors to respond (If they respond at all..).

The ability of Yahoo, Google and PayPal to quickly plug this month’s holes highlights one of the differences between combating worms that target websites and those that go after flaws running on an individual’s PC.

PayPal was able to roll out a fix almost immediately by altering several lines of code on its server, company spokeswoman Amanda Pires said. That blocked the ability to exploit a flaw that let cyber criminals intercept users who typed in a genuine PayPal web address, security researchers say.

Wired





                

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