Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Database Security

5/17/2013
03:32 PM
Adrian Lane
Adrian Lane
Commentary
50%
50%

Why Database Monitoring?

Hoping other people detect your breach before you lose millions is not a good strategy

Why should you monitor database activity? This is why! Hackers stole $45 million from ATMs -- a theft made possible by breaching several bank databases and make simple alterations that allowed thieves to siphon of cash.

Do you understand how hard it is to take $45 million from ATM machines in $2,000 increments? Do you realize that's more than 20,000 withdrawals? What's more troubling is this was the second attack. The first, committed several months before, successfully netted $5 million. Police caught up with some of the attackers on the second attack only after they had managed to steal another $40 million, but not by being nabbed at ATMs or tracked back to the source. Rather, one of the "money mules" got greedy, killed one of the ringleaders, and police stumbled on the theft ring as part of a murder investigation.

The sad thing is that the easiest point of detection should have been through the database. The entire attack is predicated on breaching the database of ATM/gift cards, finding the card numbers, and altering the withdrawal limits of those cards. For you database experts out there, you know that this takes about three or four SQL statements to do. It's also a dead simple attack to detect, and one of the types of attacks that database activity monitoring systems were designed for.

The simplest way to stop the thieves would have been to detect the alterations and then lock the card numbers or limits so they could not be used. Or they could have detected the attack and then coordinated with law enforcement to catch the thieves as they started taking out money. They would have had lots of opportunities to catch them -- about 20,000 or so.

And if you read the Verizon Data Breach Report, you noticed that 69 percent of the breaches were not detected by the company; rather, they were detected by outsiders. So what sounds easier, faster, and cheaper? Hoping someone outside of your company detects the data breach for you before $45 million is stolen, or detecting the first phase of the attack while it happens?

Sure, this is one of the more costly attacks in the past decade, but the point should be clear: Monitor databases that hold financial information!

Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting practice. Special to Dark Reading. Adrian Lane is a Security Strategist and brings over 25 years of industry experience to the Securosis team, much of it at the executive level. Adrian specializes in database security, data security, and secure software development. With experience at Ingres, Oracle, and ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
Stay-at-Home Orders Coincide With Massive DNS Surge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Can you smell me now?
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-11844
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
There is an Incorrect Authorization vulnerability in Micro Focus Service Management Automation (SMA) product affecting version 2018.05 to 2020.02. The vulnerability could be exploited to provide unauthorized access to the Container Deployment Foundation.
CVE-2020-6937
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
A Denial of Service vulnerability in MuleSoft Mule CE/EE 3.8.x, 3.9.x, and 4.x released before April 7, 2020, could allow remote attackers to submit data which can lead to resource exhaustion.
CVE-2020-7648
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.72.2 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads for users who have access to Snyk's internal network by appending the URL with a fragment identifier and a whitelisted path e.g. `#package.json`
CVE-2020-7650
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker after 4.72.0 including and before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads to users with access to Snyk's internal network of any files ending in the following extensions: yaml, yml or json.
CVE-2020-7654
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Information Exposure. It logs private keys if logging level is set to DEBUG.