What Are the Biggest Threats to Your Network Security?

McAfee Labs researchers analyzed threats gathered by the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence network to determine the biggest threats to network security. The top threats shifted in the third quarter of 2012:

  • MySQL brute-force attacks are on the rise. These attacks use automated software programs to "guess" user passwords.
  • Both remote procedure call and browser attacks have overtaken Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks in frequency.

The United States continues to lead in network attacks. Most Internet threats originate in the United States and are directed at U.S. targets. For most types of network security threats, the United States is in the top position as both attacker and target:

  • SQL-injection attacks — The United States took the top spots as both attacker and target in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Blackhole exploit kit — The United States was again in the top position for the Blackhole exploit kit as the attacker and tied with Indonesia for the most victims. Crimeware tools, such as the Blackhole exploit kit, introduced major upgrades this quarter. In September 2012, Blackhole’s developer, Paunch, announced the availability of Version 2.0 to exploit the new Java SE 7 zero-day vulnerability. McAfee Labs sees heavy exploitation of this vulnerability around the world. For more information on the Blackhole exploit kit, see the Cybercrime section of the McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2012.
  • Botnet control servers and victims — This is the only threat where the top spot was not held by the United States. Venezuela was the top target and the United States was number two. However, the United States retained first place among newly discovered botnet command servers.
  • PDF exploits — The United States was also the clear leader among countries hosting the most PDF exploits as detected by our network technologies — no other country even came close.