Botnets go search crazy

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Hundreds of searches found to use paging parameter queries.

Botnets are being used to generate up to 80,000 daily queries on search engines daily.

This experts said allows for a filtered list of potentially exploitable sites to be created in a very short time with minimal effort.

The attacker's identity remains concealed as searches are conducted using botnets and not the hacker's IP address.

Amichai Shulman, CTO of Imperva, said that hackers have become experts at using Google to create a map of hackable targets on the web and this allows them to be more productive when it comes to targeting attacks.

"These attacks highlight that search engine providers need to do more to prevent attackers from taking advantage of their platforms,” he said.

Imperva said that search engines deploy detection mechanisms, based on the IP address of the originating request in order to block automated search campaigns. However hackers easily overcome these detection mechanisms by distributing their queries across botnets.

According to Imperva, its Application Defense Center observed a specific botnet examine dozens and even hundreds of returned results using paging parameters in the query during May and June.

This resulted in almost 550,000 queries (up to 81,000 daily queries and 22,000 average daily queries) being requested during the observation period. The attacker was able to take advantage of the bandwidth available to the dozens of controlled hosts in the botnet to seek and examine vulnerable applications.

In terms of recommendations for search engines, Imperva said that search engine providers should start looking for unusual suspicious queries, such as those that look for known sensitive files or database data files.

It also recommended blacklisting internet service providers that are suspected of being part of a botnet and to apply strict anti-automation policies (using CAPTCHA) or identify additional hosts that exhibit the same suspicious behaviour pattern to update the IPs blacklist.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


Botnets go search crazy
 
 
 
Top Stories
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Photos: Unboxing the Magnus supercomputer
Pawsey's biggest beast slots into place.
 
ANZ looks to life beyond the transaction
If digital disruptors think an online payments startup could rock the big four, they’ve missed the point of why people use banks, says Patrick Maes.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  29%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  28%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  22%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 1079

Vote