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PLXsert warns of Spike DDoS Toolkit

Akamai's Prolexic Security Engineering and Research Team (PLXsert) is tracking the spread of Spike, a new malware toolkit that poses a threat to embedded devices, as well as Linux and Windows systems.

Several versions of Spike can communicate and execute commands to infected Windows, desktop Linux and ARM-based devices running the Linux operating system (OS), PLXsert said in an advisory Wednesday morning.

Good Recognition for Akamai's Real-Time Web Monitor

Analyst Daniel Humphries has written a review of several threat monitoring tools for the "Software Advice" website, including a positive assessment of Akamai's Real-Time Web Monitor.

Ours was among five tools Humphries looked at in his report, "Spotlight: Threat Visualizations." The others were Kaspersky's Cyberthreat Real-Time Map, Digital Attack Map -- a joint project between Google and security vendor Arbor Networks -- the Deutsche Telekom Attack Meter, and Trend Micro's Global Spam Map. 

Humphries noted that threat visualization maps are becoming increasingly popular because of the "unique way in which they can illustrate cyber attacks," which are normally unseen to the human eye. "Both the educational and design value of these maps are crucial factors when it comes to successfully enlightening the public about the specific and global nature of security threats, so we wanted to find the best of the best, and highlight what it was that we liked most about each map," he said.

Akamai's Real-Time Web Monitor became a quick front-runner because it has the best of both worlds, he said: It shows a "very large and comprehensive range of threat data, while also having one of the simplest and cleanest interfaces of the maps we featured."

Read the full review here.

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Coming Soon: New Security Whiteboard Videos

Last year, we released a bunch of videos containing security whiteboard lessons on a variety of topics. This Thursday we shoot four new episodes. 

Below is a preview of each episode.

  • To see previous security whiteboard videos, go here and here.

Security Topics at Akamai Edge 2014: A Primer

Each year at Akamai Edge we update customers on some of the more persistent threats we've dealt with in the 12 months prior. Slides detailing the 2013 threat picture are available here. For an idea of what we'll be sharing at Edge 2014 in a couple weeks, I've assembled this primer. 

The following blog posts capture the main threats that have kept us busy in recent months:

Public Compliance Docs: The List So Far (Updated Sept. 18)

As previously noted, Akamai InfoSec has been working to make its most sought after compliance documents publicly available. The goal is to make it easier for customers to access the answers they regularly seek, and also to show potential new customers how we operate. 

We're building the foundation in the form of a compliance page on the Akamai Security microsite, and hope to publish up to two fresh public docs a month. What follows is a list of what we've done so far.

Web Vulnerabilities: Low-Hanging Fruit for DDoSers

A new Akamai PLXsert whitepaper was released this morning: "Web Vulnerabilities: The foundation of the most sophisticated DDoS campaigns." The paper can be downloaded here

Security practitioners know this much from long experience: 

Attackers who successfully build botnets and launch DDoS campaigns start by exploiting web vulnerabilities. It is the low-hanging fruit. In the white paper, PLXsert explores specific examples of the exploitation of popular web content management systems and web management suites and how these compromises have led to the development of some of the most advanced and difficult-to-stop DDoS campaigns.


It's fitting that the Akamai Edge customer conference is in October. It's the same month as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we'll have a robust security track at Edge.

Akamai Offers Further Guidance to Blunt Linux DDoS Threat

Yesterday's advisory about attackers exploiting Linux vulnerabilities for DDoS assaults got a lot of attention. After hearing the feedback, we decided a follow-up post was necessary to help admins mount a better defense.

I spoke with David Fernandez, head of our Prolexic Security Engineering Research Team (PLXsert), and he offered additional details on the countermeasures.

First, for the basic details of the threat, check out yesterday's post.

Now for the next steps...

Linux Systems Exploited for DDoS Attacks

Linux users have a new threat to worry about.

According to Akamai's Prolexic Security Engineering Research Team (PLXsert), the bad guys have discovered a weakness in Linux systems they can exploit to expand their botnets and launch DDoS attacks. PLXsert released an advisory outlining the danger this morning.

  • The full advisory is available HERE.
  • Also read Akamai Security Advocate Dave Lewis' CSOonline blog post about the threat.

Reminder: Social Engineering Isn't Just An Online Threat

Shortly after DEF CON last month, friend and journalist Steve Ragan made an observation in his Salted Hash blog: People standing in the many long lines at the event were forgetting a basic social engineering risk.