[ISN] Web defacements and server hacks on the rise

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Apr 27 01:24:14 EDT 2005


Dan Ilett
April 25, 2005

Brief: Hackers in 2004 attacked more Web sites and servers than ever
before, a security research group says.

Hackers carried out almost 500,000 more attacks on Web sites and
servers last year than in 2003, according to independent research.

A study carried out by Zone-H, a Web site where hackers report their
activity, found that global Web server attacks and Web site
defacements rose by over 400,000 (36 percent) compared to 2003

"Defacement is just one option for an attacker," said Roberto
Preatoni, the founder of Zone-H. "In most circumstances the techniques
used by defacers are the same used by serious criminals to cause
damage. The data on cybercrime provides information on the evolution
of trends and [this] allows system administrators to close the
security holes that are used."

The report said that an average of roughly 2,500 Web servers (out of
approximately 45 million) were hacked every day last year, and that
70,357 single Web defacements occurred over the year. US government
servers were hit 186 times using individually tailored "special
attacks", while US military servers received 49 such attacks.

Preatoni said that Web server attacks are likely to rocket as the
adoption of 3G and VoIP services becomes increasingly common.

"Once GSM telephone platforms are replaced by VoIP and 3G phones,
which work in the same way as Internet servers, the number of Web
servers will increase to 1.5bn," he said. "Each of these phones will
potentially be subject to the same vulnerabilities as traditional Web
servers and personal computers. [This] could even turn the phones into
remote-controlled snooping devices, opening the way to massive
industrial espionage incidents."

Zone-H has archived 900,000 digital attacks in five years.

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