What are Blended Threats? How Do Blended Attacks Work?

What are Blended Threats?

Blended threats are harmful programs that mix the capabilities of many forms of malware such as Trojans, worms, and backdoors into a single package. A person visits a website and is subsequently sent to a malicious URL in a blended threat. Following that, social engineering entices the victim to download a malicious file, which then downloads other malicious files.

Cybercriminals can distribute threats swiftly and covertly by employing a variety of ways and approaches. It may be defined as a software vulnerability that entails a sequence of assaults aimed at targeting various flaws. When a blended danger is present, the computer will find it challenging to concentrate on a single issue. Any software designed to exploit different weaknesses such as trojan horses, worms, and computer viruses, might be considered a danger. A blended threat is also characterized as a complicated threat or a mixed attack because of the way it functions.

Two or more assaults, i.e., numerous attacks at the same time, make up complex threats. The terrorist events in Paris in 2015, or a coordinated cyberattack on a huge organization's architecture, are both instances of complex threats. This form of danger has become increasingly widespread in recent years. Physical systems like Stuxnet, Triton, and Trisis have been impacted by these hacks. A mixed threat is a concept that describes computer system dangers that are triggered by possible physical hazards. They encompass natural, unintentional, intentional, and virtual types of risk that have an impact on a person's life, information flow, environment, and property.

How Do Blended Attacks Work?

Because they utilize a range of attack channels and malware features, blended assaults are risky. All of the malware's resources are pooled together to pursue a single end objective. If a hacker wanted to conduct a DDoS assault while also infecting their network with a server rootkit, they'd keep their server distant from the target or risk being infected themselves.

  • The attacker starts by conducting a phishing campaign with the goal of breaking into one of their network's other apps.

  • The assault would entail the dissemination of infected links that would direct employees of the target company to a malicious interface or website.

  • Anyone who clicks on the external link will download a worm, virus, or trojan horse, which will propagate over the organization's network's many endpoints.

  • The trojan horse will open a backdoor into your network, giving the attacker more access. The hacker will soon launch a botnet.

  • By utilizing the organization's resources, the attacker will conduct third-party DDoS assaults. The attacker will have control of the organization's endpoints.

  • When the impacted teams' security teams attempt to resolve the issue, the hacker proceeds to install a rootkit on their server. This new kit will grant unfettered access to information on the organization's server as well as access to the organization's numerous resources.

How You Can Protect Your Systems from Blended Threats

Even if we don't know how blended threats may grow, we can still use safe computing techniques to defend ourselves from a variety of scenarios: Antivirus software should be installed at network gateways, servers, and PCs, and systems with automated updating capabilities will provide the most up-to-date security for your network.

  • Internal services that do not require public Internet access should be blocked by firewalls. This will aid in the blocking of some of the blended threats' numerous dissemination channels.

  • Internal networks should be built to authenticate internal users, even if firewalls are in place. When harmful code is present in internal systems, it is not safe to presume that it can be trusted.

  • Additional security can be provided by intrusion-prevention systems that offer automated attack-signature updates.

  • Finally, and probably most importantly, maintain software up to date by installing vendor updates and security patches on a regular basis. All of the blended threats that resulted in widespread infection did so by leveraging known application software vulnerabilities, some of which were more than a year old. This suggests that they might have all been avoided if consumers had implemented software upgrades on a regular basis. Make sure to sign up for security updates from all of your software providers, and make a strategy to install them as soon as feasible.

Security professionals should be aware that blended assaults frequently include social engineering and phishing techniques to circumvent cyber-defenses and persuade users to click an infected link or file that has already gone through the first layer of defense.

Human mistake is to blame for many data breaches and ransomware assaults. Because suspicious messages, links, and attachments are important to attack vectors in a mixed assault, training your staff to spot them should be a high focus.

Updated on: 19-Jul-2022


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