Home News Scammers Use Bots and Automation to Make Cyberattacks Effective

Scammers Use Bots and Automation to Make Cyberattacks Effective

Attackers are targeting web applications by leveraging automated tools and fake bots in their attack vectors.

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Cloud Security

Since organizations are working remotely, most IT and cloud security professionals globally are concerned about their cloud environment’s security. Besides, the security vulnerabilities created during the adoption of new access policies, networks, and devices used for managing cloud infrastructure remotely became a challenge for many organizations. Alternatively, cybercriminals too changed their attacking vectors by leveraging botnets and automation techniques to exploit victims’ cloud environments.

According to a report from Barracuda, a provider of cloud-enabled security solutions, threats actors are shifting to bots and automated attacks to evade threat detection tools.  Barracuda researchers analyzed a sample of global data on web application attacks and found a surprisingly high number of automated attacks reported across the world, especially in Asia-Pacific.

In automated attacks, cybercriminals use bots to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications. They often send web or mobile requests to the targets to perform malicious operations like sensitive data theft, compromise users’ login credentials, automated password reset, and account takeover attempts.

“These kinds of attacks are often used to retrieve sensitive data, and Barracuda researchers noted an overwhelming number of exfiltration attempts focused on stealing credit card numbers, with Visa being the clear focus, accounting for more than three-quarters of these attacks,” Barracuda said.

According to Barracuda, the top attack vectors that are deployed using automated tools include fuzzing attacks, injection attacks, fake bots, application distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), and blocked bots.

Fuzzing attacks, which use automation to break into applications, accounted for nearly 20% of attacks, followed by injection attacks at 12%, which sees hackers using automated tools like SQL map to access applications. Bots, pretending to be a Google bot or similar, also stood at 12%. Application DDoS attacks made up more than 9% of the sample across all geographies, followed by bots blocked by site admins, which accounted for just under 2%.

“Automated tools continue to advance in their level of sophistication, allowing even the most unsophisticated hacker with a convenient way to successfully steal valuable data from unsuspecting users. Our research shows that these attacks can take many forms, making it crucial to invest in a cloud-based solution that offers total application security to find and remediate vulnerabilities automatically. This, coupled with the right cyber awareness training for your team, will give you the best possible chance of staying protected against these evolving threats,” said Mark Lukie, Engineer Manager, Barracuda, Asia-Pacific.