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'Lazy hackers' turn to automated attack tools

From BBC - April 17, 2018

Cyber-attackers are turning to tools that automate the process of finding and hijacking vulnerable servers, a study has found.

The study used a fake server known as a honeypot to log everything done to it by digital intruders.

Put online by security firm Cybereason, the server was quickly found and hijacked in seconds by a bot that broke through its digital defences.

The firm said it expected to see more attacks staged with little human help.

"The bot did all the hard work," said Ross Rustici, head of intelligence services at Cybereason. "It shows how lazy hackers have become."

Data theft

To make the fake server look more convincing, Cybereason thought up a company name, generated staff identities and spoofed network traffic. This, said Mr Rustici, helped it pass the "sniff test" and convince bots it was a target that was worth their attention.

About two hours after the server for the fake finance firm was put online it was found by a bot which then aggressively set about taking it over.

Passwords to protect some of the server's functions were left intentionally weak to tempt the bot which duly cracked them and then went on to plunder information on the machine.

Within 15 seconds of getting access, the bot:

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