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Podcast: Websites Attacked Via 3rd-Party Services, Widgets

In the latest episode of the Akamai Security Podcast, I talk to CSIRT Manager Mike Kun about what he calls an "interesting new attack vector" where bad actors forgo direct attacks against websites in favor of targeting third-party services the site is using.

"Rather than go against a target directly, bad actors are looking at what other services that website is using," Kun explains. "A simple one is DNS. If the attacker can compromise the registrar a site is hosted with, they can easily change the IP address mapping and point that at some other site."

Those who go for such attacks include hactivist groups looking to deface sites, or someone looking to steal information or drop malware for myriad purposes.

Widget providers are among the targeted. Kun notes that the chat function now available on many e-commerce sites is usually supplied by third parties.

"Sites are linking to code from third-party sites instead of running local code," Kun says. "So if an attacker can compromise that widget, they can attack your site."

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