In my readings done the past few weeks, we have noted a rise on software exploit attacks on other software categories. While it is to our opinion that Microsoft is still the most exploited software, rising attacks on other software like Adobe, Java and Php has been increasing.
Since the focus of the attacks the past few years have been on Microsoft, security people have also been focusing on hosw to improve the security mechanisms in Microsoft products. This caused exploiters to focus their targets on other products, which, admittedly were even not given much thought before.
My opinion here is that, these attackers saw the rise of these software in relation to how they are used. Adobe, Java and Php’s focus is on the Internet and on the cloud. What better way to exploit these software.
According to studies, attacks in Java have been surging to unprecedented levels, in fact, attacks on Java has b increased more than the rate of increase in Microsoft, if we are to compare rates of attack on a monthly basis.
Microsoft has been accustomed to be the prime target and Adobe had hogged the centerstage the past few months but since the trend on the attacks to Java has been alarmingly increasing, I find it appropriate to say that Java will be on the centerstage the next few months. By the beginning of 2010, statistics shown that the number of Java exploits had already surpassed exploits on Microsoft and Adobe.
Attacks on Java makes sense for precisely the same reason that attacks on Adobe before , make sense. A malware developer has to choose which operating system platform to attack will choose Microsoft because it offers potentially more targets. But as Microsoft has improved on its security controls, attackers has discovered that third-party cross platform technologies are often a weak spot in that Microsoft armor.
Also, the past few weeks, we have discovered some exploits that are present in Php, which is an open source web development platform. Although it does not affect Php codes directly in anyway, it affects users who access these sites created in Php, specially those websites who are accessed by Microsoft users.
It really boils down to vigilance. Right now, an advise we can offer to those who are already been affected is strict monitoring and vigilance until these holes are closely looked upon and patched.
But then again, after these has been closely looked into, it does not stop there. Malware or exploit developers work around the clock to destroy, kill and maim. IT Security is not a one time thing, its a continuous thing, and all of us will be affected sooner or later, even experienced IT security professionals.