Hackers targeting 'forgotten' web apps

Hackers targeting 'forgotten' web apps

Zero-day attacks hitting media players and chat programs

Security firm Finjan has warned of zero-day attacks targeting popular web apps like media players and chat programs.

The attacks are focusing on popular applications which are usually left unpatched or untracked by administrators.

While most enterprises schedule Microsoft security deployments, applications from other vendors are usually left unpatched and are becoming as an easy target for hackers, according to Finjan.

"The 2007 Sans Institute annual review of the top 20 IT security risks confirms our reports last year, notably in the field of web 2.0 application vulnerabilities," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at Finjan.

"There has been a significant move into custom web applications by a growing number of organisations, and it is these applications that criminal hackers are now targeting."

The problem with hackers targeting media players, chat applications, content management systems and discussion forums is that the threats are not tracked on general vulnerability reporting services such as BugTraq and @Risk.

"This makes the task of identifying and protecting against these types of attacks all the more difficult," Ben-Itzhak added.

Finjan agreed with the broad findings of the Sans Institute's analysis of web browser vulnerabilities, but warned that hackers are also focusing on non-Microsoft products.

"The trend towards companies of all sizes adopting open source and, of course, Mac applications, has been steadily increasing over the last 12 months, " said Ben-Itzhak.
"Since most vulnerability reporting services tend to focus on Microsoft software, this makes the business of criminal hackers a lot easier."