According to the 2022 Unit 42 Incident Response Report from Palo Alto, within 15 minutes of a new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) disclosure, threat actors are looking for vulnerable endpoints.

The report also states that attackers are constantly monitoring software vendor bulletin for new flaw announcements that can be used to infiltrate organizations.

On the method most commonly used by attackers, about one-third of the method used is to exploit software vulnerabilities for initial network breaches. Thirty seven per cent of attacks used phishing to gain initial access, and 15 per cent used brute force or compromised credentials to infiltrate networks.

The most commonly exploited vulnerabilities for network access in H1 2022 include the “ProxyShell” exploit chain, Log4Shell, SonicWall CVEs, and ProxyLogon.

ProxyShell link three bugs that are tracked as CVE-2021-34473, CVE-2021-34523 and CVE-2021-31207. 55 per cent of the total recorded exploitation incidents are related to the ProxyShell attack. Log4Shell accounts for 14 per cent or the incidents, SonicWall CVEs accounted for seven per cent and ProxyLogon had five per cent. Zoho ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus RCE was exploited in three per cent of the cases.

Since administrators now need to speed up the process of patching bugs, it is important to keep devices away from the internet if possible and only expose them via VPNs or other security gateways.

By restricting access to servers, administrators not only reduce the risk of exploits, but also give more time for security updates before attackers can target vulnerabilities.