Report: IBM X Force Intelligence Quarterly 4th Q 2015

In its quarerly X-Force Threat Intelligence Report, IBM provides us with information about “how cybercrime trends and incident forensics are evolving—based on the real-world insights of the IBM Security Services team. ” This quarter they begin with the top four cybercrime trends.


A rise in “onion-layered security incidents” means that security teams must execute investigations with ever greater care and precision. This year has been called the “Year of Ransomware” as attackers took advantage of lack of back-up, patchwork, and user awareness to steal information from users and demand a ransom for its return. Shared accounts and a lack of accountability have lead to more threats coming from inside our organizations, often with the issues that allowed the breaches causing difficulties in investigating them. Finally, in a welcome trend, people in oversight roles at all levels are starting to ask security teams more about the organization’s security position and inquiring about mock tabletop exercises, incident response plans, and enterprise information system risk assessment. Considering that the US has the highest average cost for each data breach this increased engagement at all levels is something that we should encourage.


Next is a detailed discussion about Indicators of Compromise.” IOCs, like unusual outbound network traffic, geographical irregularities, large HTML response sizes and more can act as the “check engine light” for our networks and operating systems. If we take appropriate steps – document the tools and methods, use the intelligence to search for attacker activity, investigate incidents, assess compromise level, and then remediate, IOCs can be powerful tools in our fight against advanced threats.

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View or download the full report below

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