Security Researchers Find That Nearly Half Of All Malware Hidden By TLS Encryption

BACKGROUND:

Researchers found that nearly half of all malware is being hidden within TLS-encrypted traffic in order to evade detection from security tools. 

Experts Comments

April 22, 2021
Kevin Bocek
VP Security Strategy & Threat Intelligence
Venafi

Organisations should never assume that traffic is safe just because it’s encrypted. For cybercriminals, hiding within encrypted traffic offers the perfect disguise: they know this is a major security gap for organisations since AV tools can’t look inside encrypted tunnels. This gives the bad guys free reign to send malware or other exploits over HTTPS – and as more machines and clouds rely on encrypted traffic, this tactic will become even more popular among cybercriminals.

 

The best defence

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Organisations should never assume that traffic is safe just because it’s encrypted. For cybercriminals, hiding within encrypted traffic offers the perfect disguise: they know this is a major security gap for organisations since AV tools can’t look inside encrypted tunnels. This gives the bad guys free reign to send malware or other exploits over HTTPS – and as more machines and clouds rely on encrypted traffic, this tactic will become even more popular among cybercriminals.

 

The best defence organisations have is to inspect all inbound, cross-network, and cross-cloud traffic, and ensure that security tools are able to inspect encrypted traffic to eliminate blind spots. This creates a need for centralised intelligence and automation to ensure that all security tools – such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, or analytics – are fed and updated with the all the relevant machine identities to ensure they can inspect all traffic. Otherwise these just become gaping holes in a company’s defence for hackers to exploit.

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