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April 2018 Archives

The Dark Side of APIs, Part 2

Ryan Barnett, Principal Security Researcher, Akamai

Elad Shuster, Senior Security Researcher, Akamai

During its research into Credential Abuse attack campaigns, Akamai's threat research team conducted an analysis of web logins to gain insights into how widespread the adoption of API-based logins is and whether or not this trend also affects attackers and attack campaigns.  It will come as no surprise that API-based logins are highly targeted by credential abuse attackers for a variety of reason.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP): What you need to know

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a widely used protocol with a decade-long history of flawed implementations across a wide range of consumer devices. In this paper, we will cover how these aws are still present on devices, how these vulnerabilities are actively being abused, and how a feature/vulnerability set that seems to be mostly forgotten could lead to continued problems in the future with DDoS, account takeover, and malware distribution.

Readers must be aware that this is an active vector currently in use to conceal the traffic of attackers. The location of the origin of the traffic is effectively hidden by using vulnerable devices as proxies. Carriers and ISPs need to be aware of the vulnerability, as end users and customers may appear to be hosting content or the source of attacks when the responsible party is actually behind one or several layers of compromised routers. Law enforcement officers should be advised that, similar to other types of proxies, UPnProxy has the potential to make their jobs harder by adding another layer of obfuscation to traffic from criminal actors.

Read the full research paper

The Dark Side of APIs: Part 1, API Overview

Ryan Barnett, Principal Security Researcher, Akamai

Elad Shuster, Senior Security Researcher, Akamai


API Overview

Application Programming Interfaces (API) are a software design approach which enables software and system developers to integrate with other systems based on a defined set of communication methods. APIs serve as software building blocks and allow for software reuse - essentially allowing fast development of new systems based on existing capabilities.