Trustwave SpiderLabs Uncovers Ov3r_Stealer Malware Spread via Phishing and Facebook Advertising. Learn More

Trustwave SpiderLabs Uncovers Ov3r_Stealer Malware Spread via Phishing and Facebook Advertising. Learn More

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News Releases

Trustwave Releases The Web Hacking Incident Database Semiannual Report

Web Application Security Incidents See Rise in Targeted Attacks Against Financial Institutions

CHICAGO (September 9, 2010) - Trustwave, a leading provider of information security and compliance solutions, has released its Web Hacking Incident Database (WHID) semiannual report, which is the result of a project dedicated to maintaining a database of Web application-related security incidents. The report analyzes the business impact of Web application security attacks and reviews compiled data from January through June, 2010. The report was compiled by SpiderLabs, the advanced security team at Trustwave responsible for application security, incident response, penetration testing, physical security and security research.

Unlike other resources covering Web site security, which focus on the technical aspect of the incident, WHID focuses on the impact of the attack. To be included in WHID, an incident must be publicly reported, be associated with Web application security vulnerabilities and have an identified outcome. Since the criteria for WHID is restrictive by definition, the number of incidents that are included is not very large; only 158 incidents made it to the database for the first half of 2010. WHID is a project of the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC), and led by SpiderLabs researcher Ryan Barnett.

The most notable trend for the first half of 2010 was the steep rise in targeted attacks against the financial vertical market. This is mainly the result of cybercriminals targeting small to medium businesses (SMB's) online banking accounts. Corresponding to this increase was the spike in use of Banking Trojans, which result in stolen authentication credentials to steal bank account passwords.

The report also analyzes drivers for Web hacking incidents, listing various outcomes of the successful attacks in the WHID, all of which can lead to serious consequences. Leakage of information is the top driver, while defacements of Web sites are second. This is particularly damaging as most businesses today rely on their Web site to be the face of their organization. The most notable increase, though the third most prevalent outcome, was monetary loss driven by profit-seeking cybercriminals.

The report finds that organizations cannot properly respond to Web hacking incidents due to insufficient logging and security information and event management capabilities. If proper monitoring mechanisms are not in place, attacks and successful compromises go unnoticed for extended periods of time. This trend was also evident in Trustwave's 2010 Global Security Report which highlighted the average window of data exposure as more than 100 days for harvesting data in transit and just less than 700 days for data at rest.

"These attackers are professional criminals who are developing new ways to generate revenue from compromising Web applications," says Robert J. McCullen, chairman and CEO of Trustwave. "By extracting sensitive customer data from these e-commerce Web sites, the information can be sold on the underground black market for significant gain, resulting in identity theft and fraud."

"These are common vulnerabilities that have existed for many years, yet they go unpatched, resulting in application compromise," says Nicholas J. Percoco, senior vice president and head of SpiderLabs. "This report is designed to help those responsible for Web application security prioritize remediation efforts and to understand the implications if they don't secure their networks and follow security best practices."

About Trustwave

Trustwave is a leading provider of on-demand and subscription-based information security and payment card industry compliance management solutions to businesses and government entities throughout the world. For organizations faced with today's challenging data security and compliance environment, Trustwave provides a unique approach with comprehensive solutions that include its flagship TrustKeeper® compliance management software and other proprietary security solutions including SIEM , WAF , EV SSL certificates  and secure digital certificates . Trustwave has helped hundreds of thousands of organizations-ranging from Fortune 500 businesses and large financial institutions to small and medium-sized retailers-manage compliance and secure their network infrastructures, data communications and critical information assets. Trustwave is headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit

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