According to a new report from data security company Impreva, web applications experience on average twenty seven attacks per hour, or approximately one attack every two minutes. The Imperva 2011 Web Application Attack Report offers insight into malicious web app attack traffic in the period between December 2010 and May 2011.
The data security company monitored and categorized more than 10 million individual attacks across the internet, including attacks targeting thirty different enterprise and government web apps. The report outlines the frequency, type and geography of origin of each attack to help security professionals better prioritize vulnerability remediation.
“Most security research focuses on vulnerabilities, and while this insight is extremely valuable, it doesn’t always help businesses prioritize their security efforts,” Amichai Shulman, lead researcher and Imperva CTO said in a statement. “Take a look at the OWASP Top 10, for example, RFI and Directory Traversal were not identified as top vulnerabilities, yet our research shows that these are two of the most common attacks used by hackers to steal data. It’s impossible to have effective risk management without understanding which vulnerabilities are most likely to be exploited.”
- Automated attacks are prevailing. According to the WAAR, attack traffic during the six month period was characterized by spikes of high volume attack activity followed longer periods of lighter activity, key indicators of automation. On average companies experienced twenty-seven attacks per hour, or an attack every two minutes. However, when websites came under automated attack they received up to 25,000 attacks in one hour, or 7 attacks every second.
- The Unfab Four. The four most prevalent Web application attacks include directory traversal (37%), cross site scripting (36%), SQL injection (23%) and remote file include (4%). These attacks were often used in combination to scan for vulnerabilities and subsequently exploit found vulnerabilities.
- Most attacks come from within the US. Over 61% of the attacks originated from bots in the United States, though it was unclear from where they were controlled. Attacks from China made up almost 10 percent of attack traffic, followed by attacks originating in Sweden and France. The WAAR data shows that 29 percent of the attacks originated from the same 10 most active attack sources.
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