Imperva investigation details underground hacker community

In today's modern digital threat landscape, cyber hackers have evolved from rogue criminals and mavericks into organised coalitions willing to work together for personal gain or political purposes.

For that reason, businesses aiming to go above and beyond when it comes to vulnerability management are now employing new and innovative techniques in order to ensure their digital security is up to scratch.

One example might be a Red Cell ethical hacking evaluation, which fully simulates a legitimate external attack on your servers and allows you to determine where flaws or weak spots may have presented themselves.

The value of an investment such as this was highlighted recently in a new report from Imperva into the underground hacker community.

The Hacker Intelligence Initiative report, released October 29, details the findings of a comprehensive analysis into an online forum for computer hackers with a registered user base of roughly 250,000 members.

Imperva notes that such investigations are important for determining what particular organisations are likely targets for cyber criminals, as well as identifying what present and future techniques these hackers may be utilising.

"By examining what information hackers seek out or share in these forums, we can better understand where they are focusing their efforts," explained Imperva chief technology officer Amichai Shulman.

The report found that hackers on this forum were commonly working together in order to share knowledge and training, with veteran hackers willing to help newer ones in order to gain recognition and "street cred".

The security firm estimates that around 28 per cent of all online conversations monitored on the forum were related to beginner hacking and hacker training in some way, while a further 5 per cent were related to hacking tutorials.

The report also suggests that DDoS and SQL injection attacks are currently the most popular attack methods amongst cyber criminals, as these were the techniques most frequently discussed on the forum.

A DDoS – or Distributed Denial of Service – attack is essentially an attempt to bring down a website or company server, typically by overloading it with external information requests.

An SQL injection involves exploiting a security vulnerability in the software of a website in order to convince it to run unintended SQL code and execute arbitrary and potentially malicious commands.

Imperva notes that the popularity of this latter technique is particularly concerning, as this is a vulnerability which many organisations are not adequately mitigating.

"If organizations neglect SQL injection security, we believe that hackers will place more focus on those attacks," said Mr Shulman.

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