By Fraser Tennant
FTSE 100 companies are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks according to a new report by the leading threat intelligence provider, Anomali.
In ‘The FTSE 100: Targeted Brand Attacks and Mass Credential Exposures’, it is revealed that 81 companies in the FTSE 100 had potentially malicious domain registrations against them during the last three months, a ploy that enables cyber criminals to create dummy websites that can be used to trick users into supplying private data.
Should such data be gleaned, a hacker can then sell or use it to access and attack a company’s network – malicious action which leaves the UK’s largest businesses open to cyber attacks and puts critical business content and personal information at risk.
The report also discovered that 5,275 employee email and clear text password combinations from FTSE 100 companies were found on a number of sites from which they can be stolen, publicly published or sold.
“Cyber crime is rising at an astonishing rate, and it’s now a board-level issue for businesses”, said Jamie Stone, Anomali’s vice president of EMEA. “Nevertheless, the evidence gathered across our threat intelligence platforms demonstrates that some basic security measures are not being adopted or followed at some of the largest and most prominent companies in the UK. The results of the report should be a wake-up call for these organisations, highlighting just how vulnerable they are in ways they might not even have considered.”
Additionally, the Anomali research discovered that: (i) most of the suspicious domains were registered using a Chinese address, with the second most from the US and the third most from Panama; and (ii) the vertical hardest hit with suspicious domain registrations is financial services with 376, followed by retail at 175 and critical infrastructure at 75.
“Understanding the importance of monitoring copies of brand domains and compromised employee credentials can’t be overstated”, continues Mr Stone. “Companies must be able to make sense of the threat intelligence that is available to them so that it provides relevant, actionable data to their business. The ability to learn and understand the impact of these additional fake domains and gather metrics about how employees use their work-related credentials outside of the workplace is absolutely crucial to maintaining security across the business.”
The Anomali report is the first in series which will examine trends and heighten awareness of domain registrations and credential exposures as a valuable source of information and an early warning of a possible attack.