Hackers Target Retailers with Credential Abuse Attacks, says Akamai

3 months ago
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Hackers Target Retailers with Credential Abuse Attacks, says Akamai Image Credit: Ericsson

Credential abuse attacks, the preponderance of API-call traffic on the web and the apparent misrepresentation of IPv6-based traffic are the main pressing cyber security concerns, according to the Akamai 2019 State of the Internet / Security report.

Hackers have directed credential abuse attempts at retail sites more than 10 billion times from May to December last year, making retail the most targeted segment studied, according to the report.

The Company studied the credential abuse technique known as credential stuffing, where hackers systematically use botnets to try stolen login information across the web. They target login pages for banks and retailers on the premise that many customers use the same login credentials for multiple services and accounts. Interest in retail is driven by the value of merchandise, which hackers acquire through compromised accounts and then frequently resell.

API Traffic Prevalence and Potential IPv6 Underreporting Point to Security Concerns

API calls represent 83 percent of web traffic, according to an October 2018 Akamai traffic review detailed in the report. The majority of API traffic is for custom applications, which is the result of digital transformations and cloud-based application deployment. For security teams, growth in API volume is important when considering risk, because some security tools are not equipped to manage API traffic.

Meanwhile, DNS traffic analysis outlined in the report notes that IPv6 traffic might be underreported, since many systems capable of IPv6 usage still prefer IPv4. This could indicate device misconfiguration or improper monitoring and network blind spots, a security concern. Since IPv6 is still believed to be a minority of web traffic, it is not a major selling point for a number of security tools.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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